Mumbai FC rally to hold Dempo to 1-1 draw
Margao: Mumbai FC came from a goal down, through Alfred Jaryan`s late goal, to hold high-flying Dempo SC to a 1-1 draw in an I-League Round 24 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.
Playmaker Roberto Mendes Silva `Beto` (45+1st) put Dempo SC ahead in the first half before Jaryan (88th) earned Mumbai FC a well-deserved point. Mumbai FC`s thirteenth draw in the season took their tally to 25 points and helped them move up to eighth in the league standings. It took Dempo`s tally to 32 points from 22 matches as they remained in fourth position.
After a slow start to the game, Mumbai FC went close through striker Yusif Yakubu in the 10th minute but the Ghanaian couldn`t finish the move started by Jayesh Rane. Six minutes later, Mumbai FC suffered a blow when medio N P Pradeep was injured and had to be taken off with playmaker Climax Lawrence replacing him.
Mumbai FC once again went close midway through the half. However, substitute Climax on the run, failed to get a touch Arash Hatifie`s inch perfect cross inside the box.
Mumbai FC kept on pushing ahead but it was the hosts who took the lead against the run of play in the first minute of injury time. After defender Sandesh Jhingan brought down Jewel Raja, Beto curled in an unstoppable freekick to give Dempo a 1-0 lead going into the breather.
Seven minutes after restart, medio Ashutosh Mehta almost pulled Mumbai FC level. However, the youngster`s attempt on Rahul Bheke`s long throw-in was blocked by the keeper.
Thereafter Mumbai FC kept on soaking pressure going ahead on the occasional counter attack for majority of the second half. Defender Sandesh was at his best keeping all Dempo attackers at bay.
Into the final ten minutes, Mumbai FC`s persistence finally paid off as Jaryan scored two minutes from the full time whistle. Rahul`s long throw-in from the right was perfectly headed into the net by the Liberian striker to earn Mumbai FC a point.