Late strike by Henry helps Mumbai FC draw with AIFF XI

January 15th, 2011 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Jan 15 (IANS) A last minute strike by Nigerian Ezeh Henry saw Mumbai FC escape with a 1-1 draw against AIFF XI in the ninth round of the I-League football here Saturday.AIFF XI took the lead in the eighth minute through Malswamfela and Henry equalised as he headed in from a fine flag-kick from Nicholas Rodrigues in the injury time at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium here.

With the draw, AIFF jumped two places to the ninth position with 11 points while Mumbai FC jumped one place to the fifth spot with 14 points.

AIFF XI controlled most part of the match and maintained their unbeaten record at their home ground. They went ahead after Jewel Raja gave a fine pass to Malswamfela in the box and the stocky forward’s right footer found the back of the net.

Mumbai FC, however, churned out a listless performance and could hardly penetrate the defence of AIFF XI, which comprises under-21 players.

Jibon Singh did most of the legwork for the AIFF XI and created the moves in the midfield. He came close to double the lead in the 44th minute, but his screaming rightfooter whisked past the bar.

Mumbai FC played better in the second half with veteran midfielder Noel Wilson coming on as a substitute. Wilson combined well with substitute striker Lalwampuia to break the solid defence of the AIFF XI.

AIFF XI looked almost certain of three points, but just before the final whistle, Henry’s header from a disputed corner kick dashed their hopes.

AIFF XI coach Desmond Bulpin admitted his team’s problem of dropping its defence in the dying minutes of the game.

“This is a problem that is happening too often. We have to sort this out, otherwise we will be dropping assured points,” he said.

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