The Mumbai club record maiden away win

Bharat FC Vs Mumbai FC

The Mumbai FC juggernaut continued their fine winning streak, recording their third successive victory and first away, with a clinical 2-0 triumph against Bharat FC, Pune, at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune on Friday evening.

Brazilian striker Josimar Da Silva scored from a penalty in the 36th minute before Sampath Kuttymani doubled the lead in the 73rd minute to put the issue beyond their opponents.

The win has propelled Mumbai FC, with 10 points from 7 games, into 4th position behind leaders Mohun Bagan, Royal Wahingdoh and Pune FC. Bharat who suffered their 3rd defeat in 5 games stay in second last place with 5 points.

Mumbai FC were dominant from the outset as they controlled play in the midfield and attacked the rival citadel in waves, which put the Bharat FC citadel under a lot of pressure. Brazilian Josimar and Mohammed Rafi were alert and quick to chase down balls provided by the midfielders to stretch the Bharat FC defence. Once again the hard-working Japanese Taisuke Matsugane in the company of Kuttymani, Reisangmi Vashum and the young Jayesh Rane combined nicely to orchestra the attacks. Taisuke picked up his second ‘man-of-the-match’ award. He had won the award in the last match against Royal Wahingdoh last week.

The Mumbai FC defence was solid and compact leaving little scope for the Pune club to have a good look at their goal. Nigerian Chika Wali and Justine Stephen, both playing in the heart of the Mumbai FC defence showed good understanding with the wing backs Ashutosh Mehta and Allan Dias as they coolly warded off any threat posed by the rival attackers. Although goalkeeper Nidhinlal A.C. enjoyed a relaxed day in office as he was hardly tested by the Bharat FC strikers who lacked the spark.

Mumbai FC having asserted their dominance twice came close to taking the lead but were denied by the post. In the 12th minute Rafi from the right side put Josimar in the clear but Bharat FC goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya rushed out in a bid to avert danger. However, his clumsy clearance was picked up by Rafi, who passed the ball back to Josimar whose snap effort crashed into the near post. Five minutes later, Rafi himself was unfortunate to watch his effort bounce back off the right upright.

However, the Mumbai club could not be denied for too long from going in front. In the 35th minute Josimar earned a penalty when Bharat FC defender Mehrajuddin Wadoo snapped at his ankle and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Josimar converted by slotting the ball to goalkeeper Bhattacharya’s left. He was asked to retake the penalty due an infringement by a Mumbai FC player. Once again Josimar succeeded, this time firing low to the goalkeeper’s right.

Later a fine opportunity fell at the feet on Kuttymani but he shot wide from close and the Mumbai team went into the break with a slender lead.

Mumbai FC continued in the same vein after switching sides as the home team was still trying to come to terms with their game. The Mumbai club repeatedly made inroads into the Bharat FC territory and after a couple of misses added the second when Kuttymani punted home the rebound after Josimar’s try from close was blocked by Bhattacharya in the 73rd minute.

Thereafter Bharat FC after making a couple of changes managed a few shots at the Mumbai FC goal with Manjit Singh having the best chance which was taken care of by goalkeeper Nidhinlal who ensured his goal stayed intact.

“This was a good win for the team. We were desperate to get an away win have now achieved against a good, strong side like  Bharat FC,” said Henry Picardo, Manager, Mumbai FC.

“The boys deserve all the credit. They all played their roles to perfection and their performance was very satisfying. We had expected a positive result, but not such a comfortable victory,” added Picardo.

In the next round, Mumbai FC host last year’s champions Bengaluru FC at the Cooperage ground on March 3 at 7.00 pm.

Playwin is the official sponsor of Mumbai FC.

Results

Bharat FC 0 lost to Mumbai FC 2 (Josimar Da Silva 36th-pen, Sampath Kuttymani  73rd).

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