Pune: Mumbai FC sprung a surprise as they shocked East Bengal by 3-2 in the Airtel I-League Round 12 match here on Monday.
Afghani midfielder Ahmad Hatife had the East Bengal defence in tatters when he scored Mumbai FC`s second goal before picking up a second yellow card of the match to reduce his team to 10 men.
Hatife scored in the 37th minute after East Bengal had equalized Yusif Yakubu`s second minute opener through Cavin Lobo (32nd), before N P Pradeep gave coach Khalid Jamil enough reasons to celebrate with his 65th minute strike. Ryuji Sueoka scored for East Bengal three minutes from close, but that was too late in the day.
The win helped Mumbai FC climb one spot above Mohun Bagan to number 10 position in the I-League table after 11 matches. East Bengal are just above Mumbai FC at ninth spot with 11 points.
Soon after the match kicked-off, Yakubu scored one of the fastest goals of the Airtel I-League by netting the ball into the bottom right corner of East Bengal goal.
Cavin Lobo drove through the middle in the 32nd minute beating two defenders before shooting a low cross that beat Mumbai goalkeeper Nidhin Lal all ends up.
Ghanaian striker Yakubu ran amok after he got the ball on the right. He moved ahead unchallenged for 25 yards before sending a square to Hatifie, who directed the ball into the goal. The ball hit inside of the right crossbar before settling into the nettings.
After 20 minutes of tough fight in the second half, Mumbai pulled yet another blow when Pradeep headed in a Nicholas Rodrigues shot for 3-1 lead.
East Bengal tried every trick to get Mumbai FC on the defensive but Jamil`s men stood tall. Sueoka finally found a gap and scored in the 87th minute with a close range header, but it was too late to overhaul the deficit.
Cricket is a religion in India but we will grow very fast and we will go a long way. I am happy to be playing with some of the best Indian players in ISL.