Taisuke inspires Mumbai’s win over Salgaocar

Mumbai FC’s enterprising captain Taisuke Matsugae and his band of players ensured that the spectators, rooting for the home team, got their money’s worth with a 2-1 win against the Goan club.

Taisuke Matsugae completely caught the opposition by surprise eight minutes from half-time. (File photo)   -  H. Vibu

The spectators at the Cooperage football ground may have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of football dished out by the two teams — Mumbai FC and Goa’s Salgaocar Sports Club — in their I-league match on Sunday.

Mumbai FC’s enterprising captain Taisuke Matsugae and his band of players ensured that the spectators, rooting for the home team, got their money’s worth with a 2-1 win against the Goan team, who played a meticulous game.

The 33-year-old midfielder, Taisuke was the toast of the evening, scoring the first goal (his first of the season) with a long range pile-driver in the 37th minute and thereafter back-passing to Sushil Kumar Singh, who scored the second goal in the 48th minute.

Salgoacar’s Jackichand Singh found the net in the 66th minute to raise hopes of a dramatic finish. A weary and nervous Mumbai FC faltered many times in the second half, but they managed to hold on to the one-goal lead till play came to an end after three minutes of injury time much to the relief of the team and the spectators.

Although Mumbai’s coach Khalid Jamil had said that he would not be disappointed with a draw, his strategies indicated that he pressed for a win. The presence of Japan’s Ryuki Kozawa in the front line seemed to be an overdose of offence. With the likes of Izumi Arata and Sushil Kumar looking to capitalise on the fine work done by Jayesh Rane and Liberian Eric Brown on the wings, the emphasis was heavy on attack.

Right from the start there were a number of shots directed at the goal that kept the Salgaocar goalkeeper and captain Karanjit Singh busy.

Taisuke completely caught the Goan team by surprise eight minutes from half-time. A yellow card for committing a foul did not deter him from going full throttle to capitalize on the pressure created by Rane, Brown, Arata, Sushil Kumar and Kozawa.

There was a scuffle after Taisuke put his side ahead, and also a strong riposte from the Goan side in the last five minutes of the first session. The intensity increased in the second half with Darryl Duffy’s brilliance and clever movement by Jackichand, Calvin Mbarga and defender Gurjinder Singh taking long range shots on and off.

Mumbai FC impressed with their short passing and body feints; maybe Brown and Sushil Kumar overdid, but it went down well with the 2500 odd spectators. There were a number of free-kicks that raised the excitement quotient, and Mumbai FC gasped when substitute Manandeep Singh’s shot skimmed over the cross bar in the first minute of the add-on time.

Result:-

Mumbai FC 2 (Taisuke 37, Sushil Kumar 48) bt Salgaocar SC 1 (Jackichand Singh 66).

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