Ten man Mumbai holds Sporting to 2-2 draw

Mumbai was forced to play without captain NP Pradeep after he was sent off following a double-booking in the first half but they fought hard to earn the draw.

The draw lifted Sporting to fourth in the table with 12 points while keeping Mumbai in sixth spot with ten points.   -  I-League

Reduced to ten men in the second half, a fighting Mumbai FC held Sporting Clube de Goa to a 2-2 draw and kept its unbeaten home record intact in an I-League football match here today.

Mumbai was forced to play without captain NP Pradeep after he was sent off following a double-booking in the first half but they fought hard to earn the draw.

The visitor drew first blood in the eighth minute through Mahmoud Al Amna that was neutralised by Mumbai’s Kyuki Kozawa in the 19th minute.

Crossing over with only ten men on the field Mumbai took a 2-1 lead in the 53rd minute through substitute Jayesh Rane only to see substitute Victorino Fernandes equalise for the Goans six minutes later.

The draw lifted Sporting to fourth in the table with 12 points while keeping Mumbai in sixth spot with ten points.

Mumbai was stunned by an early strike by the Goan team in the sixth minute. A long ball was trapped on the left flank by Odafa Okolie who found an unmarked Mahmoud Al Amna with a precise ten yard pass. The latter finished clinically past new recruit Sandip Nandy to put the Goans 1-0 up. Nandy was replaced by Pawan Kumar before half time.

But Mumbai, who has not lost a game this season at home, hit back 12 minutes later through Japanese striker Ryuki Kozava.

The overseas player was unmarked just inside the penalty area to collect a long ball from Pratik Chowdhary and lobbed the ball into the goal over keeper Arindam Bhattacharya.

To make matters difficult for Mumbai, its captain and central defender NP Pradeep had to leave the field by picking up his second yellow card just before end of half time for rough play.

Substitute Rane put Mumbai ahead early in the second half as he, unchallenged by Goa defender Mehrajuddin Wadoo, slotted the ball into goal between Bhattacharya’s legs.

But Sporting hit back seven minutes later through a combination of substitutes Seriton Fernandes and Victorino Fernandes with the latter connecting to a cross from the right to beat Pawan Kumar.