Taisuke inspires Mumbai FC to maiden win

Taisuke celebrates after scoring a 25 yard screamer.

Mumbai FC registered their first win of the 2016 I-League season with a comfortable 2-1 win over Salgaocar at Cooperage on Sunday afternoon. Goals on either side of half time by skipper Taisuke Matsugae and Sushil Kumar Singh lifted Khalid Jamil’s men who were managed yet another shut out in the I-League.

Khalid Jamil gave a first start to Japanese striker Ryuki Kozawa who came in place of the injured Steven Dias as Mumbai FC signaled their intent going into the game with an attacking 4-4-2 line-up. Salgaocar too started out with Duffy and Mbarga upfront, matching Mumbai’s system to an extent.

Despite being set up to attack, neither side were able to string together some good moves in the first ten minutes of the game, which were quite uneventful to say the least. However, the game came into life after that and the first opening of the game went the visitors way when Jackichand Singh went past Clyde Fernandes to pick out Darryl Duffy’s run at the near post, only for the Scot to fire wide.

The hosts should have been in front in the 18th minute after a sweeping counter-attacking move saw Ryuki Kozawa pick out Arata Izumi’s run into the box, but the former Pune FC midfielder saw his effort vitally blocked by a Salgaocar defender as the Greens cleared the danger. From the resulting corner, Pratik Chowdhary missed a free header after having escaped from the marker Darryl Duffy.

Mumbai FC began to grow into the game after a sustained spell of possession and were inches from hitting the front in the 32nd minute when Jayesh Rane headed back a Eric Brown cross in Taisuke’s path, but the Japanese midfielder’s half-volley just evaded the target.

However, there was no stopping the Mumbai FC skipper six minutes later, when his strike from twenty five yards ruffled the back of the net, despite Karanjit Singh’s best efforts to keep it out. But as Taisuke fled away in celebration, Salgaocar’s Darryl Duffy appeared to have stopped him in his tracks with a hand in the Japanese’s face,that saw him hit the floor. Referee Pranjal Banerjee brandished a yellow card to the striker as Duffy was let off the hook.

Salgaocar almost restored parity when Gurjinder Kumar’s free kick from the right flank almost caught out Pawan Kumar who parried the shot onto the bar before the Mumbai FC defenders managed to clear the danger and preserve their slender lead heading into half time.

The second half got off to a perfect start for Mumbai FC as they doubled their lead just three minutes from the restart. Taisuke Matsugae’s lung busting run into the box was picked out by Eric Brown’s pin point cross as the the Mumbai FC skipper went past the goalkeeper to set up Sushil Kumar Singh who smashed his shot into the back of the net.

Mumbai FC who had their tails up, were only denied  a third goal by Karanjit Singh’s heroics who saved a Sushil Kumar Singh shot which was destined to sneak into the back of the net, six minutes later.

In the 66th minute, Salgaocar earned a route back into game when Jackichand Singh’s cross dipped over Pawan Kumar into the side netting. The goal gave the visitors the impetus going into the final minutes of the match and MBarga missed a great chance to level matters for Salgaocar when he blazed his shot over after being slipped in on goal in the 78th minute.

Mumbai FC put the numbers behind the ball in order to hang on to a win but were almost undone when a 85th minute header from Darryl Duffy skimmed off the crossbar. Mumbai FC staved off any further Salgaocar attempts to snatch a draw, to claim a first win in this season’s I-League.

The win helped Mumbai FC move to the third spot in the I-League charts for the time being, while a third straight defeat meant Salgaocar remain rooted to the bottom of the table.




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