THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Mumbai FC stuns Shillong Lajong FC

I-League: Shillong Lajong FC v Mumbai FC

I-League: Shillong Lajong FC v Mumbai FC

Mumbai FC registered a 2-1 win over Shillong Lajong FC in what was a thrilling encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong on Sunday.

The Reds started out as the better side in the opening stages and were creating many chances while Mumbai FC struggled to create any chances upfront as the host had more possession in Mumbai FC’s half.

It was the home team which saw the first opportunity on goal when Uilliams free kick was perfectly placed in the bottom right corner but the keeper managed to parry it away. Then in the 11th minute, Cornell Glen dribbled past two defenders but his curled shot was saved by custodian Nidmin Lal and even though the ball landed in front of Uilliams, the Brazilian was not able to convert.

However, the brilliant efforts of the home team paid off when Trinidad & Tobago international Cornell Glen broke the deadlock in the 18th minute after a pass from Uilliams was deflected by a Mumbai FC defender and the ball fell in front of the Lajong striker who made no mistake in giving his side the lead.

Four minutes later Japanese recruit Taisuke Matsugae made a good run but unfortunately his shot went just inches wide.

After being on the back foot for most part of the first half, the away team started to gain more possession in the later stages of the first half. Much to the relief of Khalid Jamil, his team equalised in the 45th minute when Alfred Jaryan found the back of the net from a corner and both sides went into the break all square.

The second half started with both teams fighting to take the lead and Shillong Lajong FC coach Thangboi Singto was forced to replace Boithang with Redeem at the start of the second half. Then in the 50th minute, the visiting team scored the second goal after Lajong defender Robin Gurung failed to clear the ball and Ashutosh Mehta hit a powerful shot in the 50th minute past the Lajong custodian.

Despite the away team leading 2-1, the undying spirit of the boys in Red was evident as they were pressing hard and posed a lot of threat in Mumbai’s goalmouth. The home team almost equalised when left back Lalchuanmawia Fania took a long range shot just to see the Mumbai FC keeper make a good save. Lajong kept pressing forward but Mumbai FC stood firm in their defence with the support of their midfielders and forwards cancelling out any celebrations for the home team and held off the Reds till the final whistle was blown.

Lajong have now dropped to seventh place in the I-league table after failing to earn any point from this encounter, while Mumbai FC move up to 10th place with 24 points from 21 matches. The Man of the Match award was given away to Ashutosh Mehta of Mumbai FC.

Lajong now have a break of over two weeks as they will play their next game against Mohammedan Sporting on April 16 in Kolkata.