Sabtu, 20 April 2013

I-League: Mumbai FC score injury-time equaliser against ONGC

ONGC were denied all three points through an injury-time Yusif Yakubu goal which helped Mumbai FC to earn a point at the Ambedkar Stadium this afternoon. Earlier, Yusa Katsumi had converted from the spot to put ONGC in the lead in the 18th minute.

Courtesy the one-all draw, both the teams moved to 31 points from 25 matches with a match remaining.

ONGC's first chance came as early as the fifth minute. Kailash Patil's deft turn caught rival defender Kamaljeet Kumar on the wrong foot and the former was brought down. But off the resultant free-kick, Yusa Katsumi's try sailed inches over. A couple of minutes later, Yusa was brought down by rival defender Peter Costa and this time David Lalrinmuana's free-kick was way off the mark. Mumbai FC came back strongly and forced a goalline clearance by Sachin Gawas in the 12th minute off Justine Stephen's header from a Nicolas Rodrigues corner.

ONGC surged ahead in the 18th minute. A David Lalrinmuana cross from the right was handled inside the box by Kamaljeet and Yusa gleefully converted from the spot to make it 1-0. Mumbai FC's best chance in the first-half came in the 31st minute, when Peter Costa set-up Evans Quao inside the box but his prompt shot was palmed away by ONGC goalkeeper Rehenesh. Yusa, who till then, was creating problems for the Mumbai FC defenders, limped off in the 35th minute and was substituted by Naresh Aula. ONGC, thereafter, looked a bit wayward.

Changing over, Mumbai FC stayed the more dominant force. They did break into the rival box a number of times but the ONGC defenders managed to keep them in bay. Their easiest chance came in the 58th minute when John Coutinho, all in control, failed to tap it over an onrushing Rehenesh from the top of the box. Much to the frustration of the Mumbai FC bench, the ball sailed over. Three minutes later, Yasif Yakubu failed to direct his free-header into the net off a Nicolas centre down the left.

ONGC after the break depended on counter-attacks. In the 65th minute, former Indian international Jatin Singh Bisht's header off a David corner bounced off the post. ONGC who had been pressing hard just couldn't convert the chances which came their way. Substitute Sampath Kumar Kuttymani's miss in the 88th minute summed up the day for them. With all the time in the world, Kuttymani's header off a Peter Costa cross went over.

But the match had more drama in store. The lanky Abhishek Yadav set-up Yakubu Yusif in the clear and the veteran striker banged it in to the right of Rehenesh in the 94th minute to deny ONGC all three points as the match ended in a one-all draw.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)

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