I-League: Mumbai FC beat East Bengal 1-0

Pulling off yet another surprise, debutants Mumbai FC on Tuesday got the better of East Bengal through a solitary goal by Felix Aboagye.

updated: October 01, 2008 18:02 IST
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Pulling off yet another surprise, debutants Mumbai FC on Tuesday got the better of East Bengal through a solitary goal by Felix Aboagye to end their Kolkata sojourn with two back-to-back wins in the ONGC I-League.

Having already upset city giants Mohun Bagan 2-1 in their I-League opener on Saturday, Mumbai FC never seemed to be under any danger with their defenders led by man-of-the-match Selwyn Fernandes doing a neat job at the floodlit Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium.

Credit should also be given to their goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey who impressed everybody with some fine saves.

Both the teams started cautiously and it took more than 15 minutes for the real action to start.

East Bengal almost scored in the 20th minute, but they must be ruing the fact that three of their players despite being in the penalty box, failed to convert a Rennedy Singh corner.

In what appeared the best chance for the home team, Singh's corner kick from the right was well taken by Sunil Chhetri who headed it cleanly but only to be blocked by a Mumbai FC defender.

It did not end there as Edmilson scooped the ball up but an alert Chaubey deflected it showing his fine skills in front of the goal. The deflection found Mehrajuddin Wadoo on its way and the East Bengal mid-fielder instead of slotting it home easily, shot over the bar in what could have given the Red and Gold side the upper hand.

Having missed the golden chance, East Bengal conceded a goal two minutes later.

Felix just had to provide some finishing touches to a Riston Rodrigues cross in the 22nd minute and the Mumbai FC striker did not miss the easy chance to give Mumbai FC the lead.

Seven minutes later, national striker Chhetri, who defied an ankle sprain to turn up in the match, found a good cross from Syed Rahim Nabi but the diminutive striker, after chesting the ball, could only find an alert Chaubey.

East Bengal again went very close but goal eluded them as, this time, their Brazilian star forward Edmilson's shot ballooned over the bar.

Second-half was no different with East Bengal coming close to scoring on more than one occasions but failing to convert their chances.

Mumbai FC coach David Booth praised his wards, especially his defenders, for their impressive show. "Today, we were never in danger... They never got to our backline..."

Indirectly taking a dig at the plight of East Bengal, which boasts six national stars in their line-up, Booth said, "Our team believes in teamwork. We have no stars. Everybody expected to do well and play their bit."

The visitors thus took their points tally to six from two matches, while East Bengal have three points from the same number of matches.

Mumbai FC will take on Mahindra United in their next match on October 11, while East Bengal face Air India in their first away match in Mumbai on October 12.

East Bengal: Subrata Pal; Nirmal Chhetri, Khelemba Singh, Suley Musah, Saumik Dey; Syed Rahim Nabi, Mehraj din Wadoo, Yusif Yakubu, Rennedy Singh (Mehtab Hussain 71'); Edmilson Marques (Ashim Biswas 46'), Sunil Chhetri.

Mumbai FC: Kalyan Chaubey; Sanjay Parte, Selwyn Fernandes, James Cobblah Dissiramah, Anes Edathodika; Subhas Chakraborty, Riston Rodrigues, Kalia Kulothungan (Noel Wilson 67'), Aseem Kutty (Sampath Kuttimani 78'); Felix Aboagye (Abhishek Yadav 78'), Abel Hammond.

ONGC Man-of-the-Match: Selwyn Fernandes (Mumbai FC)

Yellow cards: Suley Musah and Sunil Chhetri (both East Bengal); Selwyn Fernandes, Subhas Chakraborty and Kalyan chaubey 72 (all Mumbai FC)

Referee: A Arjunan (Services).