Mumbai FC finish in grand fashion, tame Shivajians 4-0

Sunday night’s final I-League game of the season saw relegation threatened side Mumbai FC host DSK Shivajians at Cooperage stadium on 24th April 2016. The home-team recorded a comprehensive 4-0 victory at the end with 3 first-half goals from Jayesh Rane, Eric Brown and Sushil Singh; Man of the Match Eric Brown scored a second-goal on the 90th minute mark to seal 3 points for Mumbai FC, securing top flight status.

The match began in perfect sync with Mumbai FC’s game plan, dominating the proceedings from first minute. Jayesh Rane’s shot hit the left-hand post before a number of last ditch defensive clearances from DSK Shivajians prevented the home-side from scoring the opening goal of the match.

DSK Shivajians sat deep inside their defensive territory for a majority period of the first-half with close to no accountable pressure on the ball, which resulted in an exceedingly poor display at the back. As a result, Mumbai FC were afforded a few extra yards of space every time a player approached the away-team’s defensive zone. The hosts exploited spaces on the flanks, when attacking and closed down spaces in the middle without the ball.

The opening goal for the home team came in the 21st minute through a perfectly weighted cross from right-back Ashutosh Mehta into Jayesh Rane inside the 18-yard-box, who was afforded the time and space to control and place his shot past Subrata Paul’s left. As the game restarted, DSK dispossessed possession inside their opposition half and a smart back-heel from Steven Dias to locate Hitesh Sharma; the latter found good of space to register a first-time cross, but instead dropped a loose cross around the visitor’s penalty area, where an on-rushing Eric Brown half-volleyed a thumping effort into the goal to give Mumbai FC a two goal cushion inside 25 minutes.

The hosts continued to find spaces and fancy half-chances at will, creating more pressure on DSK Shivajians. With the away-team rarely visiting their attacking third, Mumbai FC remained untroubled as they enjoyed an eventful closing to the first-45 minute with a third-goal to take into the break.

A perfectly pitched through ball into the path of Sushil Singh by Eric Brown had the former clear on goal, who produced a fine finish to lob the ball over the DSK Shivajians goalkeeper.

By the time the Maharashtra derby crossed its 60 minutes mark, the away team had seen plenty of the ball – with a shift of momentum in the game, which saw Mumbai FC switch-off in an attacking sense. Although, the leaders were remaining a bleak shadow of their own selves in the second half, Khalid Jamil’s side looked pleasant at countering the pressure exerted. A hatful of poor decision making around the defensive third area in promising situations saw DSK Shivajians fail to create any chances of getting back in the game.

As the closing moments of the game edged closer, Mumbai FC became more cautious in their approach to protect their 3-goal advantage as they frustrated away team while fancying chances their on the counter attack. A late Eric Brown strike in the 90th minute completed a dominant 4 goals performance from the hosts as they secured 3 points in their final I-league encounter of the season.

Continuous poor finishing from a tired-looking DSK Shivajians side and a flurry of goals from Mumbai FC in the first-half proved enough for the hosts to save their torrid season as they successfully completed yet another escape from relegation.

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