Airtel i-League 2013-14: Late Anwar Ali goal earns Mumbai FC a point

Mumbai FC and Dempo SC players in action in Airtel i-League Round 2 Encounter

Mumbai FC 1-1 Dempo SC
MFC: Anwar Ali(86th)
DSC: Jeje Lalpekhlulua(45+3rd)

Mumbai FC staged a brilliant comeback to hold Dempo SC 1-1 in a Round-2 encounter of I-League 2013-14 at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sport Complex, Balewadi, Mhalunge-Balewadi on Sunday.

The draw was Mumbai FC’s second at home and took their points tally to 2. For the record, the result was the third consecutive draw between both sides in I-League.  

Trailing by a first-half goal scored by Jeje Lalpekhlua (45’+3’) , Mumbai FC found their savior in defender Anwar Ali (86thminute) to squash the Goans hopes.

Mumbai FC went into the game making one change opting for defender Valeriano Rebello in place of striker Jayesh Rane.

Both sides began cautiously and chose their attacks cautiously, with Mumbai FC playing a waiting game.  

Five minutes on and Mumbai FC opened up the attack. Skipper Nicholas Rodrigues set up midfielder Climax Lawrence, a former Dempo SC player, inside the box from right. The medio finding space  let loose a stinger only to have his shot blocked by defender.

Mumbai FC there after suffered a setback when John Coutinho, the hero of Round-1, ending his day with an injury and limped off. John was replaced by Jayesh Rane.

Thereafter, the game was a test for both in the midfield with the Goans marginally dominating proceedings forcing a  host of corner-kicks that Mumbai evaded.

In the third minute of first-half injury time, Mumbai FC’s defence gave way which led to a corner-kick and also earned Amiri a strange yellow card!  Off the corner-kick Clifford Miranda floated his effort to the far post which was headed home diagonally by Jeje past a helpless goalkeeper Kunal Sawant.
At half-time Mumbai FC trailed 0-1.

Resuming the second half, Mumbai FC changed tactics and pushed up the livewire Haroon Amiri into the attack. The calculated move by Coach Khalid Jamil worked well as Amiri was a thorn in the attack and forced a whole lot of activity upfront.

At the other end, Dempo SC found keeper Kunal a tough nut to crack. In the 50th minute the Mumbai FC custodian denied Billy Mehmet with a  goalline save.

Nine minutes later, Mumbai FC retaliated . Amiri's solo effort, after beating two Dempo SC players from the left, went over.

Past the hour, Amiri almost gave Mumbai FC the lead. A header from front of the goal was saved by keeper after Shinnosuke Honda failed to clear a throw in.

Mumbai FC kept on the pressure and had Orok Essien’s effort blocked by Honda from inside the

As Mumbai FC pressed for the equalizer, substitute Jayesh missed a sitter. In the 80th minute Amiri did well to cross over from the left which beat the entire Dempo SC defence. Jayesh controlled and with just the keeper upfront slips while taking a shot allowing the keeper to save Dempo.

Meanwhile, Lalrin Chhana Tochhawng (84th minute) made his I-League debut coming on for Ashutosh Mehta.

Mumbai FC’s hard work paid four minutes before regulation time. A corner kick won on the right, incidentally at the same flag that got Dempo’s goal, had Nicholas flat the ball for Anwar head home and he ran in on the overlap.

Deep into the five minutes of injury time Mumbai FC’s Jayesh deflected shot into keeper.

Man of the Match: Anwar Ali (Mumbai FC)
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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