Mumbai FC entertains Shillong Lajong in a goalless stalemate

Hosts Shillong Lajong put up a decent display but had to be contented with a 0-0 draw against a spirited Mumbai FC in a first round of the Hero I-League match played at the JN Stadium, Shillong on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides had their share of chances, more so in the first half, but failed to capitalize on them.

However, despite having to share the points, Mumbai FC can draw heart from the fact that its much publicized new core brigade delivered at the highest level when it mattered the most.

Lajong too produced a good display of football, courtesy of their youth core. For Lajong, one of the youngsters, Vishal Kaith can be singled out for his performance in front of the nets in today’s encounter.

Lajong would also be happy with the performances of Uilliams Souza Silva and skipper Aiborlang Khongjee who looked fit and good to go for the entire season.

Mumbai on the other hand were found wanting, especially in the first half but they did regroup in the second to restrict the Lajong onslaught.

Earlier Lajong started on a bright note with Penn Orji almost converting in the first minute. However, his grounded shot went just wide on the right.

Mumbai missed a real chance to go ahead when a scorcher of a shot from Eric Brown went just wide on the left. Lajong custodian Vishal Kaith surely had his heart in his mouth for a moment when that shot buzzed past him.

However, the biggest chance came Lajong’s way in the 21st minute when an angled shot from Uilliams went across the face of the nets only to land slightly wide on the right.

Mumbai, meanwhile, had their best chance of the first half in the 37th minute but a brilliant Lajong custodian Vishal Kaith made two saves within seconds to deny the visitors.

First it was Sushil Singh who sent in a scorcher from outside the box as a diving Vishal rebounded it for Arata Izumi to take control. Izumi’s fragile shot from close range was again denied by Kaith who was up to the mark on both occasions.’

It proved to be a costly miss for Mumbai FC in the end.

The second half did not see much coming for both sides apart from Uilliams’ 76th minute free kick from long range which missed the top of the crossbar by a couple of inches.

Lajong, meanwhile, had as many as eight corners but could not make use of any. Uilliams’ lack of form with corner kicks is something that would worry Thangboi Singto in the games to come.

While Lajong will take on Bengaluru FC in their next game on January 24th, Mumbai will play East Bengal in their next tie.

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