By Debayan Mukherjee,
AIFF Media Team
Sporting clube de Goa 0
MARGAO: Mumbai FC rode a first-half goal from Sampath Kuttymani to down Sporting clube de Goa 1-0 in a Group A match of the Hero Federation Cup here at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Tuesday (December 30, 2014).
Kuttymani – playing his first match of the tournament in a roaming role – headed in on the rebound after captain Climax Lawrence’s corner was punched out by rival goalkeeper Ravi Kumar.
Sporting’s best chance came late in the first half when the deadlock was not broken with Mauvin Broges’s effort from close forcing a good save from Kunal Sawant. Josimar came close to doubling the lead late in the second half but Clemente Joseph’s fine interception saved further blushes.
Coach Khalid Jamil made five changes to his team that went down 2-1 to Royal Wahingdoh in their first game. Goalkeeper Sawant, Stephen, Lawrence, Kuttymani, and Rafi all started in place of Reisangmi Vashum, Amoes, Nidhil Lal in goal, Pradeep Mohanraj, and Rohit Mirza.
Sporting were playing their first match.
The win sees Mumbai FC register their first points while Sporting will look to pick themselves up in the next game against high-flying Dempo SC.
Mumbai could have taken the lead as early as in the third minute after Jayesh Rane and Mohammed Rafi exchanged passes to finally set up Rane on the edge of the box. The 21-year old Mumbai lad crossed for Taisuke Matsugae only to see the Japanese playmaker’s header go wide.
Six minutes later Lawrence tried his luck from distance but missed by a whisker. At the other end Mauvin Borges drew a decent save from Sawant after Sumit Passi’s initial attempt was also kept out.
The game meandered on for the next 20 odd minutes, the only notable tussle between Brazilian striker Josimar da Silva and Sporting’s Ghanaian centre-back Kofi Dankwae, both wresting to get the better of eachother.
Action peaked towards the close of the half when Sporting got the best chance as Rowlin borges released Mauvin Borges on the left but the 19-year old’s effort was kept at bay by an alert Sawant.
The goal came a minute later. Cimax Lawrence’s teasing corner was punched out initially by Ravi but a lurking Kuttymani headed in the rebound.
Chances were at a premium after changes of ends as Mumbai FC looked content to sit on their one goal lead while Sporting had to press the accelerator. Coach Alex Alvares ringed in the changes bringing on Victorino in place of Passi and Beevan D’Mello replacing Cajetan Fernandes.
Mumbai FC suffered a blow when Rafi had to be replaced owing to head injury and was taken to the hospital for preliminary treatment. But that had little impact on the match as the Flaming Oranjes were unable to stitch moves that could keep the rival defense on their toes.
Josimar could have doubled the lead for the yellow shirts had it not been for a timely interception by Clemente Joseph in the dying minutes of the match.
Posted on : Tuesday December 30, 2014