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

Taisuke Matsugae scores last gasp winner for Mumbai FC

Taisuke Matsugae (Mumbai FC)

Taisuke Matsugae (Mumbai FC)

Mumbai FC won an eventful MDFA Elite Division encounter against Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) with a scoreline of 2-1. The game had all the elements of a thriller with goals, attacking plays, tackles, cards and animated coaches on show enthralling the present crowd.

Mumbai began the game in their usual yellow blue home strip on a breezy afternoon at The Cooperage Football Stadium.

Mumbai controlled most of the possession in the first half but was unable to create solid chances. John Coutinho passed the ball to Paresh Shivalkar from a short corner. Paresh’s cross went to Josimar who headed it wide.

Paresh was in the thick of the action again and combined with Josimar. His through ball from the centre was side footed wide by the forward.

Justin Stephen got a yellow card for a rash challenge near the Mumbai box early in the first half. A rare chance in the form of a free kick fell to KSA  as the ball bounced inches away from the far corner of the Mumbai FC goal post.

The action shifted back to the KSA half as Allan Dias flung in a dangerous long throw to Josimar who nicked in a header towards goal but was easily cleared by the KSA defence.

The first goal finally came in the 35th minute as Mumbai’s persistence finally paid off through it’s star forward, Josimar Da Silva Martins. Kuttymani sent in a low cross into the 12 yard box from the right. The lurking Josimar thumped in a thunderous shot to the left of the KSA goalkeeper who had no chance to save! Mumbai was one goal up as the first half ended.

The second half began with sustained pressure on the KSA back line with crosses flying in from John Coutinho. John sent in a looping high cross from the left to Paresh Shivalkar, who headed it over the charging KSA goal keeper but the ball bounced inches wide away from the KSA goal.

John Coutinho was extremely busy and continued his dangerous crosses as he received great support play from Allan Dias and Cletus Paul on the left flank.

A double chance suddenly came KSA’s way on a sudden counter attack. KSA forward Archie Unchela received a through ball and shot. Nidhinlal saved but the ball fell to KSA forward Sam Cruz whose resultant shot fell straight into Nidhin’s safe hands!

Collin Abranches came in for Justin Stephen and Mohanraj Pradeep replaced Cletus Paul as an animated Khalid Jamil pushed for a two goal lead.

Paresh and John switched flanks. Paresh delighted with his skill full play on the left and passed to Kuttymani.

The shot was off target! Taisuke chipped in a ball for John on the left with no one marking but John shot was way off target and added to the frustration of his team mates. Paresh continued the pressure as he cut in from the left and flung in a cross. Kuttymani flew in for a header but missed as the ball fell to Josimar’s feet. His thunderous shot bounced off the diving KSA defenders.

It looked likely that Mumbai will score but the script was heading towards a thrilling finish. KSA forward Arihi Unchela got a rare through ball. He was solid in front of the Mumbai goal and fended off a few defenders to coolly slot the ball on Nidhinlal’s left! KSA had equalised in the 79th minute.

Mumbai used it’s last substitution as Rahul Bheke came in for John Continho. The players looked desperate to score a winner as the game went into 4 minutes of injury time!!

A goal mouth melee in front of the KSA goal turned ugly with rash challenges from both sides. Tempers flared high as Rahul Bheke and the KSA goalkeeper got their marching orders for their dangerous tackles.

The winner came right when the game was in its last few seconds. Collin Abranches crossed in from the right. Josimar headed it in towards the centre as the ball fell to the feet of a rushing Taisuke. He maintained his composure and slotted in Mumbai FC’s second goal!

Mumbai FC has now won all of its six games and sit on top of the MDFA Elite Division table with 18 points.