I-League: Mumbai holds Bagan to a goalless draw

For Mumbai FC, reeling from six losses in-a-row going into the home match against the star-studded Kolkata side, the goalless draw at the Cooperage is worth a valuable point.

Laxmikant Kattimani was adjudged the man of the match for his heroics in the Mumbai goal.

A draw against Mohun Bagan is considered an achievement in the Hero I-League 2017. For Mumbai FC, reeling from six losses in-a-row going into the home match against the star-studded Kolkata side, the goalless draw at the Cooperage is worth a valuable point. The first draw in its ninth game (two wins followed by six defeats) is something to build on in the remaining nine games. Its next rival is Bengaluru FC three days later.

Bagan escaped with a points split after surviving a first-half barrage. MFC will go home relieved, though coach Santosh Kashyap will feel a ting of frustration after a Thoi Singh goal was disallowed for off-side. Farrukh Choudhary’s flying header saw the ball come back off the post. Debjit Majumder under the Kolkata bar did not have time to react both times.

Majumder proved equal to the task otherwise, sure in rushing out for collection and quick to react when the situation demanded. MFC’s Brazilian Alex Silva displayed his touch on I-League debut with a stunning direct free-kick. The ball curled clear of the wall but the Bagan goalkeeper tapped it away from danger. Fans in the stands for the marroon-and-green chanted his name.

India coach Stephen Constantine watched the action from the stands. Coloured smoke drifted over the pitch at the start, marroon and green above the Bagan half, yellow over the MFC half .

Laxmikant Kattimani at the other end saw two floaters by Azharuddin Mallick rolling harmlessly away. Sony Norde connected with a rising shot for the MFC custodian to leap up and block in style.

The rhythm and pace slackened in the second half. Bagan pressed for goal in the final minutes, camped in the rival half but amidst sporadic raids, frequent stoppages by an over-cautious referee, no goals happened. Bagan remain unbeaten after eight games and retain second spot.

The results: In Mumbai: Mumbai FC 0 drew with Mohun Baga 0

In Chandigarh: Minerva Punjab FC 0 drew with DSK Shivajians 0.

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