Press Releases2012

Feb 08, 2012
Mumbai FC stuns title contenders Churchill Brothers

Mumbai FC came from behind to stun Churchill Brothers SC 2-1 in Monday's round 19 I-League encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.

N.D Opara had given the visitors a lead in the 19th minute before Cavin Lobo equalized in the 36th minute. Dhanachandra Singh gifted his team three vital points when he headed them ahead in the 85th minute.

Mumbai FC started with Kingsley Chioma, while P.C Lalwmpuia partnered Gbeneme Friday upfront as Peter Siddiqui was joined by Ebi Sukore and C. Malaswmkima on the bench.

Manuel Gomes had Ravanan Dharmaraj in defence and also gave a start to N.D Opara and Henry Antchouet as Jerry Zirsanga and Antun Kovacic dropped to the bench.

The hosts, who had Abhishek Yadav in central defense, started the brighter of the two teams but it was Churchill who had the first chance, when Sanjiban Ghosh spilled the ball and N.D Opara was the first to react. He hit his shot straight at the keeper who made amends for his earlier mistake with a decent save.

Friday replied for Khalid Jamil's side, but saw his rasping volley tipped over by Arindam Bhattacharya in goal.

Mumbai FC seemed to be dealing rather comfortably with the dual threat of Opara and Henry, but then their keeper Ghosh made another major gaffe as he tried to play the ball out for a corner, only to be dispossessed by Henry, who fed the ball to Beto who passed it on to Opara who had the easy task of putting the ball into an empty net in the 19th minute.

It was the winger who then pulled Mumbai FC level in the 36thminute, when a deep cross into the box was retrieved by Friday, who put it back into the danger area, but Ravanan cleared it for the ball to fall kindly Lobo on the edge of the box, who connected cleanly and found the bottom left corner of the goal with Bhattacharya left with no chance of stopping it.

The second half progressed at a brisk pace, as both teams looked for a winner. Churchill won a couple of corners in succession, the second of which led to a volleyed effort by Mohammed Rafi, which was just over the bar, as the Goans looked for the breakthrough.

The momentum gradually shifted towards the away side, as they looked for a winner to close the gap on their title rivals Dempo.

They however were finding the central defensive trio of Yadav, Chioma and Dhanachandra difficult to get past.

Mumbai FC then had a golden chance to go ahead, when Haroon caught Churchill on the break and laid the ball on a plate for Friday to tap in, but the striker failed to connect with the ball and a great chance was missed by the hosts.

Eventually Khalid Jamil's side came out of their shell with Lobo and Haroon being particularly dangerous with the ball, as the hosts smelled the chance of an upset.

They exerted a period of sustained pressure and then went ahead when Dhanachandra nodded home a brilliant cross by Friday to send the home side's staff and fans into delirium.

Substitute C. Malaswmkima then could have sealed the tie for Mumbai FC, but he lost his composure when one-on-one with the keeper and hit the ball straight at the keeper and then completely missed his kick on the rebound.

The last few minutes were spent in the home side's half, as Churchill tried to salvage a point from the encounter but were frustrated in their attempt.

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