Mahindras bow out with a win

First half goals from medio Sukhwinder Singh (33rd minute) and winger Paresh Shivalkar (43rd) gave the Mumbai outfit, which has been disbanded at the end of their league engagements by its management, a 2-0 advantage at half time.

JCT tried to come back into the contest with an early strike in the second half (48th minute) through Henry Ezeh but Mahindra players showed sufficient enthusiasm to keep them at bay in the remainder of the match.

The victory boosted Mahindra to the third place in the league standings with 41 points and they would remain there if Churchill Brothers of Goa are unable to take a point from their concluding tie tomorrow against Mumbai's Air India.JCT were fifth in the standings at the end of the match with 32 points which can change depending on the results of other last round matches tomorrow.

Mahindra and JCT took a long time to get into the groove under the hot and sultry conditions.The local outfit jumped into a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute when Sukhwinder's left-footer landed at the far corner of the net off a pass from Shivalkar.  JCT missed two golden chances to cancel out Mahindra's lead in the space of three minutes.
Balwant Singh's swerving shot from the left was fisted out by Mahindra goalkeeper Subhodeep Mukherjee into the path of Ezeh who blasted it over the bar in the 40th minute.

Then it was the turn of their star striker Emmanuel Okoro to boot the ball over the cross piece from close range.Lucky to escape from these gilt-edged chances, Mahindra widened their lead soon after when Shivalkar managed to chip the ball over rival custodian Karanjit Singh off a pass from the right.

Mahindra citadel fell in the third minute after resumption when Ezeh, left unmarked inside the box, headed in a corner kick from the right.

Both teams missed a chance each after the JCT strike. Mahindra's Surajit Bose headed over the bar off a superb cross from Steven Dias and then the visiting team's Balwant Singh controlled the ball well with his chest and thigh only to kick it over the bar.
After the match, Mahindra coach David Booth hit out at the All India Football Federation's policy of allowing rival clubs to poach players even when the league is on and wanted severe penalties to be put in place to stop this practice.

"The last five to six weeks have been difficult. We allowed the players (after they had been told of the decision to shut down the club) to secure their future by negotiating with other clubs," the Englishman said.

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