I-League: Mumbai rally to hold Bengaluru to 1-1 draw
Mumbai FC fought tooth and nail to rally from a goal down and hold defending champions Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining I-League football match at the Cooperage ground here on Tuesday.
Mumbai: Mumbai FC fought tooth and nail to rally from a goal down and hold defending champions Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining I-League football match at the Cooperage ground here on Tuesday.
The home side were down by a first half goal scored by the visiting team's impressive mid-fielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the 30th minute.
But they fought back with vigour in a fast-paced second half to notch the equaliser through Brazilian import Josimar Da Silva in the 49th minute to earn a draw.
It was the third successive drawn encounter between these two sides in the tournament's history following two stalemates last year when Bengaluru made their debut and went all the way to the title.
The draw left Mumbai at the sixth spot with 11 points from eight games while Federation Cup champions Bengaluru, who would have gone to the top of the table had they won, remained in third spot with 14 points from nine ties.
Bengaluru did all the running in the first half and impressed with their short-passing game at good speed to run the Mumbai defence ragged and deservedly took the lead.
The initial chance came Mumbai's way when in the 12th minute Josimar fed Ashutosh Mehta well inside the box only for the latter to be foiled in the nick of time by Bengaluru FC custodian L Ralte.
Bengaluru could have scored in the 17th minute itself when their Australian import Sean Rooney shot at the target off a long pass from the left by Keegan Pereira which was tipped over by Mumbai custodian Nidhin Lal.
But, the home team fell behind 13 minutes later when defender John Johnson essayed a long ball for Rooney to pass it on for Lyngdoh to score with a top of the box left-footed effort that beat Lal.
Crossing over, Mumbai started to attack and Josimar was denied a goal by the crosspiece when his left-footed shot came back off the woodwork in the third minute after resumption.
But a minute later, the home team, which has remained unbeaten in four games at their citadel, equalised as Josimar headed the ball in, following a cross by Ashutosh Mehta after a corner.
The game, which became a bit rough in the first half itself with referee Ajit Dutta turning a blind eye to some infringements, took a turn for the worse in the second half with both teams going on the offensive.
Bengaluru spelt danger from the wings with India skipper Sunil Chhetri playing on the left and Beikhokhei Beingaichho on the right but somehow the Mumbai defence held fort.
In added time, Lal, who had a good match, brought off a great save off a Rooney header from a Keegan pass to help Mumbai keep a clean slate at home.