Mumbai FC were not at their very best, but still managed to snatch a honourable 1-1 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa in an I-League Round 18 match, played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Margao, Goa on Wednesday.
The Mumbai club, without coach Khalid Jamil, played second fiddle to the Goans for long spells of the match. But Mumbai FC put up a dogged defence against the home side who launched a series of attacks and came from behind to share the spoils and a valuable point.
Alber Gonsalves headed the Goans in front in the 13th minute when he did well to reach the end of a swerving cross from Brandon Fernandes in the 13th minute. Mumbai FC restored parity when substitute Amoes Do swung a crisp free kick from the right and Sporting Goa’s defender Joseph Clement headed the ball into his own goal in the 61st minute.
A little later, Mumbai FC’s reliable goalkeeper Nidhinlal AC showed great anticipation and agility as he lunged backwards to palm over a headed effort from Brandon Fenandes in the 64th minute.
Thereafter, the Goans created a couple of chances, but without much success and had to settle for a division of two points.
Mumbai FC manager Henry Picardo, who was in charge of the team, was satisfied with the draw and the point earned. “It’s a very good point for us,” Picardo said after the match.
“We did not perform as per our expected level but managed to win a point and with East Bengal defeating Salgaocar in Kolkata, we will move above the Goans,” Picardo stated. “The early start (16.30 IST kick-off) and the humid conditions certainly affected the players and still they gave their best.“
This was the sixth draw for Mumbai FC who now have 15 points from as many games and stay in mid-table (6th place). Sporting Clube continue to stay at the bottom with eleven points also from 15 games.