Rangdajied United FC yet again secured a point after holding Mumbai FC 1-1 at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday. Manandeep Singh scored for the North Eastern outfit in the 31st minute which was cancelled out by Ashutosh Mehta just after the hour mark.
The home team were into the game right from the first whistle as they made their intention very clear. They were awarded a freekick just in the 2nd minute of the game though the subsequent kick landed straight into Subrata Paul’s hand.
Rangdajied meanwhile started out cautiously and absorbed the initial pressure. Their first scoring chance came in the 7th minute when David Ngaihte’s cross was mishandled by Mumbai’s goalkeeper Nidhin Lal. Yohei Iwasaki then latched on to the ball and before he could direct his shot, he was fouled by Ahmadi. The ensuing freekick from the edge of the box was however shot way over the bar by debutant North Korean striker, Kim Song-Yong.
Thereafter, the battle was restricted in the midfield till the 18th minute when Mumbai FC earned 3 back-to-back corners. The Rangdajied defence stood tall to see off all the set pieces. But it was Santosh Kashyap’s side, who soon shocked the countable Mumbai supporters present, to take the lead in the 31st minute.
David Ngaihte was at his usual best, snatching the ball from his Mumbai’s counterpart to cut-in towards the centre of the box from where he unleashed a screamer. The ball missed the target and rebounded off the far post for the waiting Manandeep Singh to gleefully put into the net.
Two minutes later, Rangdajied came close to doubling the lead when Kim failed to connect another cross from David Ngaihte. Rangdajied continued to keep the pressure on and Joy Chandra soon came into action. He intercepted a shoddy clearence and charged down the field before unleashing a powerful shot that just missed the far post by inches.
Ngaihte was once again in the thick of things just before the lemon-break when he brought down the ball with his right foot and brilliantly crossed it in after dodging a charging defender. Manandeep however headed the ball straight to the goalkeeper.
The tempo didn’t changed much after the break as Rangdajied United had the first crack at the goal. But the home side, who were also desperately seeking an equaliser, were awarded in the 61st minute.
Hashmatullah Barikzai took a shot from the edge of the box which rebounded and landed at Ashutosh’s feet. The Mumbai forward latched on to in and put the ball pass the diving Subrata Paul to make it 1-1.
Rangdajied created three more chances. In the 76th minute, Kim beautifully set-up Manandeep just outside the box whose shot was parried away by Nidhin Lal into the path of David Ngaihte, who had just the keeper to beat but shot it over.
Ten minutes later, Rangdajied initiated a brilliant move when Kim beat the offside trap, combined with Manandeep to take a shot which the Mumbai keeper managed to keep it out for a corner. The ensuing comer was headed over the bar by Kim himself.
In the 3rd minute of the extra time, had it not been for the alert Mumbai defence, Rangdajied would have walked away with their first three points. Nidhin Lal misjudged the bounce of the ball and allowed it to go over his head for his defended to clear from a danger area.