Mumbai FC stun Churchill

Mumbai FC stun Churchill

Salgaocar continue upward march with narrow win

Mumbai FC registered their first victory in seven matches and in the process seriously dented Churchill Brothers’ title hopes with a 2-1 win in the I-League at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Monday.

This was Mumbai’s first win in 2012 and sent the them six points clear of Chirag United Kerala, who along with HASC are in the relegation zone.

Mumbai now have 17 points from 19 matches, while Chirag Kerala have 11 from 18 with their one game against Pailan Arrows to be played on a later date.

Churchill, slipped down a place to fifth on 33 points.

Both Churchill and Mumbai began at a brisk pace. Churchill deservedly took the lead when Henry Antchouet moved from the left before sending a cross into the box. Beto was lurking around, but realizing that he was heavily marked the Brazilian laid the ball for ND Opara, who put Churchill 1-0 ahead in the 20th minute.

Unlike in the past few matches, Mumbai FC kept their morale high with relentless runs into Churchill forte, PC Lalwmpuia missing a chance with just the Chruchill goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya to beat.

The equaliser materialised in the 36th minute. Gbeneme Friday had moved up in the right corner from where the Nigerian sent a measured pass into the box. Lalwmpuia was on target but Bhattacharya punched it out only to see the ball go straight to Cavin Lobo.

The Mumbai FC midfielder had been unlucky earlier on, but this time he had enough space between the defenders to measure his shot -- a blinder that left everyone stranded in the .

On resumption, Mumbai FC began in the same pace -- a few wild shots off the target showed their intentions.

In the 83rd minute, Dhanachandra moved upfront from the left before crossing. After the ball took a couple of deflections, Friday latched onto the ball and put it on a plate for Dhanachandra to head in the winner, seven minutes from time.

In Margao, Salgaocar continued their surge up the table after Chidi Edeh’s strike in the 26th minute gave the defending champions a 1-0 victory over Prayag United at the Nehru stadium.

Salgaocar, who are unbeaten in ten matches, are fourth with 33 points while Prayag are a point behind in sixth.