Mumbai FC stun Mohun Bagan

September 27th, 2008 - 11:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 27 (IANS) First-timers Mumbai FC belied the prediction of soccer pundits to stun three-time champion Mohun Bagan 2-1 in their I-League opener at Barasat near here Saturday.The visitors dazzled in the first half scoring both their goals, and Mohun Bagan were clearly lucky not to have conceded more till the half time whistle.

The Mumbai side drew first blood in the eighth minute through Nigerian Abel Hammond, before S. Kulothungon scored a superb insurance goal soon after the half-hour mark.

Riding on their experience of playing under slushy condition, Bagan seized the initiative in the second session, managing to reduce the gap 13 minutes from time as Lalampuiya netted following a goalmouth melee.

Mumbai FC, coached by Briton David Booth, completely dominated the show in the first half, as the local side looked completely rudderless at the Barasat stadium amidst intermittent rain.

But as the game stretched into the second half, the winners’ inexperience on rain-soaked turf became apparent, as they could not match up to Bagan’s long ball tactics.

The first goal came the Mumbaikars’ way when Kulothungon sent an angular taff from the right flank, and Hammond swiftly cut in and let loose a booming right footer from about 20 yards that hit the crosspiece before going in. Such was the ferocity of the shot that Bagan custodian Shilton Pal was left a helpless spectator.

Mumbai FC continued their aggression and struck again in the 31st minute when man-of-the-match Hammond essayed a floater from the right and Kulothungon used his searing pace to reach the ball before any Bagan defender and then went for the kill with a spectacular low-flying header.

The tourist could have scored two more goals in the first half, but Felix Aboagoage missed a sitter, while Edathodika Anas saw his shot sent by Shilton Pal.

Up by the double-goal margin, Mumbai FC played a defencive game in the initial stages of the second half that allowed Mohun Bagan to go into an attacking rhythm.

The Calcutta Premier League title-holders got a consolation goal in the 77th minute when Lalampuiya followed up a long ball from the defence to strike home.

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