Mumbai FC outclass East Bengal at Pune

Airtel i-League 2013-14
Balewadi Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune
Mumbai FC 3-2 East Bengal
MFC: Yusif Yakubu(2nd), Ahmad Hatifie(37th), NP Pradeep(65th)
EB: Cavin Lobo(32nd), Ryuji Sueoka(87th)

Afghani midfielder Ahmad Hatifie had the Kingfisher 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. But that did not deter the home side from scoring a remarkable 3-2 win against the Kolkata giants on Monday evening.

Hatifie scored in the 37th minute after East Bengal had equalized Yusif Yakubu’s second minute opener through Cavin Lobo (32nd),  before NP Pradeep gave coach Khalid Jamil enough reasons to celebrate with his 65th minute strike, in the Airtel I-League Round 12 match.

Mohammed Rafi takes a acrobatic volley against East Bengal,
Picture Courtesy:
The way Mumbai began soon after the kick-off, the home side looked a totally different outfit than it had been for all the home matches so far this season.

Ryuji Sueoka scored three minutes from close, but that consolation hardly assuaged East Bengal, who lost a match that they should have won on any other day.

The win helped Mumbai FC climb one spot above Mohun Bagan to No 10 position in the I-League table after 11 matches. East Bengal is just above Mumbai FC on No 9 spot with 11 points.

Soon after the match was kicked-off Yakubu collected the ball from the defenders and rushed forward beating one defender before finishing off with 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, who earned a yellow card in the very first minute of the match, then let loose almost earning the wrath of the referee when he fouled on Haroon Amiri.

But then it was Lobo who drove through the middle in the 32nd minute beating two defenders before shooting a low cross that beat Mumbai goalkeeper Nidhin Lal all squares.

But Mumbai had different ideas on Monday. They never gave up as the Afghani brigade on field and off field bunch of supporters kept the morale high.

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 to send the small crowd of fans into delirious mood.

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.
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