I-League: Mumbai, Sporting in exciting draw

Mumbai, Feb 27 (IANS) Ten-men Mumbai FC held Sporting Clube de Goa to an exciting 2-2 draw in an I-League encounter at the Cooperage Stadium here on Saturday.

Mahmoud Al Amenah (7th minute) and Victorino Fernandez (59th) scored for Sporting whereas Ryuki Kozawa (18th) and Jayesh Rane (53rd) netted once each for the hosts. The game also saw Mumbai FC’s N.P Pradeep being sent off in first half injury time.

Sporting are now fourth on the leaderboard with 12 points from nine matches. Mumbai are two rungs below their opponents at six with 10 points.

The visitors got an early lead as Syrian forward Amenah got onto the scoresheet. He latched onto a through ball and then rounded off the goalkeeper before slotting it home.

Jolted, Mumbai pressed forward in numbers searching for the equaliser. After a few half chances, it was Kozawa who found the target with a sublime finish.

It was Mumbai again who almost found their second of the night with Liberian forward Eric Brown’s powerful shot. But rival goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya pulled off a stunning save.

A few minutes later, in first half injury time, N.P Pradeep was red carded for his second bookable offence.

Rohit Mirza was substituted with Jayesh Rane at the break and just after the restart, the move paid off as Rane netted one for Mumbai.

The forward made a speedy run into the box and looked for options beside him. He then decided to do the unthinkable and slotted the ball home through the legs of the goalkeeper.

But Mumbai’s joy was shortlived as Sporting crawled back into the game again. A minute before the hour mark, midfielder Pratesh Shirodkar came in from the right which brought Mumbai custodian Pawan Kumar off his line. Shirodkar then played it to his teammate Victorino who tapped into an unguarded net.

Mumbai came close to grabbing the winner a little while later, but Kozawa’s shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by Sporting’s Nigerian defender Loveday Enyinnaya.

Victorino found himself in a one on one situation with the keeper at the other end, but his shot fizzed narrowly wide off the post.

Both sides had their chances in the last few minutes, but could not add to their tally.

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