Sunil's strike spurs Tigers

Sunil's strike spurs Tigers

Sunil Kumar’s spotkick in the first-half stoppage time helped Mumbai Tigers upset a superior Langsning FC 1-0 in their I-League Second Division final round, first leg match at the Bangalore Football stadium on Saturday.

Langsning, however, called the shots in the first half with their twin Nigerian strikers -- skipper Daniel Bidemu Ayeni and Yinka Joel Sunday Ayeni -- probing the Tigers’ defence.
Daniel had an opportunity to score in the 21st minute off a long pass from Fullmoon Mukhim but was thwarted by the Tigers’ custodian Arup Debnath.

A flurry of attacks followed from the Shillong-based club with Daniel and Joel missing easy chances in the 23rd and 24th minutes respectively.

In the 25th minute, Daniel netted off a pass from Timmy Ringkhylem only to find himself flustered after assistant referee AR Sasikumar raised the flag to signal offside.
NP Pradeep almost scored the opening goal for the Tigers in the 44th minute with a 25-metre screamer that curled just wide off the left goalpost.

Much against the run of play, the Bimal Ghosh-coached side found the goal through Sunil Kumar off a penalty after Dembe Dikhate was brought down inside the box by Langsning’s Devit Metei.

Tigers had their tails up in the second session and applied sustained pressure on Langsning by creating more spaces. Pradeep was at his free-flowing best, never hesitant to take shots on goal, and smashed a shot from the right that flew above the crosspiece in the 51st minute.

Dikhate, Thoi Singh and captain Paresh Shivalkar came up with a couple of good moves to trouble the Langsning defence but they couldn’t convert the half-chances.

Dikhate’s 64th minute shot from outside the area was the last noteworthy goalscoring moment in the game played in front of a lively weekend crowd. All of Langsning’s efforts came a cropper in the end as the Mumbai boys came away with three points.

In the first match, Kolkata’s Southern Samity held Rangdajied United FC of Shillong 1-1. Babatunde Ayomide gave Rangdajied the lead in the 30th minute while Imran Khan equalised for Samity in the 51st minute.

Sunday’s match: Mohammedan Sporting vs Bhawanipore FC (4.15 pm).

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