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Mumbai FC hold league leaders Mohun Bagan to a draw

I-League: Mumbai FC v Mohun Bagan AC

I-League: Mumbai FC v Mohun Bagan AC

Mumbai FC goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh’s stand out performance was the highlight as the Mumbai outfit earned a creditable 1-1 draw against league leaders Mohun Bagan AC in an I-League Round 20 match at The Cooperage on Saturday evening.

The home side snatched the lead when Reisangmei Vashum headed home Jayesh Rane’s corner from the left in the 49th minute before Bagan came storming back and struck the equaliser in the 75th minute through Dhanchandra Singh.

Ghosh who started in place of regular custodian Nidhinlal AC, did a commendable job bringing out a series of timely saves, which helped his club secure their fourth successive draw. Mumbai FC had earlier drawn all their three away games against East Bengal Club, Sporting Clube de Goa and Royal Wahingdoh FC last month.

Goalkeeper Ghosh for his excellent showing was quite rightly declared as the Hero of the Match and received a cash award of Rs 10,000.

The Mumbai club, who last tasted success when they defeated Bharat FC 2-0 late February, came close to scripting a win against the Kolkata giants.

The first half was not much entertaining as the only good chance came Bagan’s way as Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yasu’s free-kick kissed the cross bar and went over in the 3rd minute. Thereafter, both the team failed to create clear goal scoring chances and they went into the break with the scores locked goalless.

Soon after resumption, Mumbai FC rocked the Bagan citadel when Vashum did well to leap high and meet Rane’s swerving corner kick and beat rival goalkeeper Debjit Majumder with a firm header to silence the 200 odd vociferous Mohun Bagan supporters.

Stung by that setback Mohun Bagan started to launch a series of attacks on the Mumbai citadel but goalkeeper Ghosh proved to be a hard nut to crack as he saved attempts from Yusa, Denson Devdas and Jeje Lalpekhlua.

However, Ghosh could do nothing to stop Dhanchandra from scoring from close in the 75th minute. Sony Norde’s corner kick took a deflection to Dhanchandra unmarked at the far post. He trapped and shot to the roof of the net to put Bagan on level terms.

Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen gave full credit to the Mumbai club. “Mumbai FC played well and deserved the point. They took the lead but we dominated thereafter and got the equaliser and could have scored more goals. But full credit to the home side,” Sen said at the post-match press conference.

Mumbai FC manager Henry Picardo admitted that he is satisfied and disappointed with the outcome of the match. “I am satisfied with draw and the point. But at the same time I’m disappointed as I think we deserved a win and almost achieved our objective,” he said.

Mumbai FC now tally 17 points from as many games and climb to 7th position ahead of 8th placed Shillong Lajong FC. Mohun Bagan continue to occupy the pole position with 32 points from 15 games ahead of champions Bengaluru FC who have 28 points from 15 games.