Santosh Kashyap, the Head Coach of the Mumbai outfit playing their first away match of the season, suffered an early setback when Churchill's ace striker Brandon Fernandes showed great skills scoring with a direct free kick giving goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani no chance to make a save. The Mumbai team showed great resilience as they fought back gamely and produce 2 strikes through Victorino Fernandes (35') & Karan Sawhney (90+2') to turn things around to clinch their 2nd successive victory and earn 3 points. Mumbai has 6 points from 2 games while Churchill lost both their games.
The goal woke up the Mumbaikars as they started dominating possession and started ticking the tempo of the match. Pratik Chaudhari and Lalchhawnkima (Kim Kima) did well to keep Wolfe in check for the Mumbai defence. Siam Hanghal was at the midst of all attacks as he kept pelting long range efforts throughout the match. Full back Shallum Pires also came close as he almost scored from a header off Steven Dias' cross. Thoi Singh came close to directing his header into the net off another delivery by Dias in the 21st minute. Minutes later, Churchill goalkeeper Priyant Singh had to be alert to thwart the threat posed by Thoi's run into the box.
Mumbai eventually scored the equaliser through an opportunistic strike by Victorino who took advantage of a mix-up between defender Rowilson Rodrigues and his goalkeeper in the 35th minute.
It was the home side who started the second-half on the front foot and they forced two quick saves from Kattimani as Clifford and Rowilson's attempts were kept out from 2 corners taken by Brandon.
As the home side kept on attacking, the visitors resorted to keeping the ball to break the flow of Churchill's game often. Both coaches introduced fresh legs to aid their side's chances of breaking the deadlock. Anthony D'Souza replaced Miranda and Hitesh Sharma came in for Victorino, but the move failed to make an impact for Churchill while Hitesh brought out more fluidity from the Mumbaikars.
Mumbai had a great chance to win the game in the 84th minute. Adil Khan's poor tackle on Hitesh saw referee Rahul Kumar Gupta point to the spot but substitute Karan Sawhney's weak spot-kick was easily saved by Priyant . But the substitute went from hero to zero in the 2nd minute of injury time after he was picked out by Thoi Singh, who had surged down the right wing and got to the byline. Sawhney's side-footed tap in rolled into the far bottom corner thereby brining the Mumbai bench to their feet.
The win makes Mumbai joint leaders in the I-League table, 3rd on goal difference. The win is also our first away win in 2 years with the last away win recorded versus the disbanded Bharat FC in 2015.
Santosh Kashyap's army next travel to Bengaluru for a massive assignement as we face fierce rivals BFC at the Kanteerava Stadium on 18th January (7 PM kick-off).
Churchill Bros. 1-2 Mumbai
Tilak Maidan, Goa
Line-up: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK); Reagan Singh, Kim Kima, Pratik Chaudhari, Shallum Pires; Pratesh Shirodkar, Siam Hanghal; Farukh Choudhary [26'], Thoi Singh, Steven Dias (C) [72'], Victorino Fernandes [64']
Subs: Sukhadev Patil (GK), Nikhil Kadam [26'], Karan Sawhney [72'], Hitesh Sharma [64'], Munmun Lugun, Asheer Akhtar, Chinta Chadrashekhar
Goals: Victorino Fernandes [35'], Karan Sawhney [90+2']