I-League: Mumbai FC hold East Bengal 2-2

I-League: Mumbai FC hold East Bengal 2-2

24Kolkata, March 26 (IANS) Mumbai FC took the lead and then came from a goal down to hold East Bengal to a 2-2 draw in an I-League Round-16 encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium here Wednesday.

After a goalless first half, veteran striker Yusif Yakubu (61st minute) gave Mumbai FC the lead before a quick brace from substitute Ryuji Sueoka (66th and 68th) put the hosts ahead.

However, a late strike from medio Ashutosh Mehta (87th) earned Mumbai FC a point from the jaws of defeat.

Mumbai FC’s twelfth draw of the season took their tally to 21 points from 20 games. However, despite being tied on points with Rangdajied United and United SC, Mumbai FC drop down to 11th place in a three-way tie .

After soaking pressure in the opening exchanges, Mumbai FC almost took the lead in the 34th minute. Striker Sehnaj Singh made his way past a host of defenders into the East Bengal box, but his shot from close range ended up in the side-netting.

Five minutes later, striker Alfred Jaryan too attempted a shot from long range. However, the ball sailed inches over the cross bar as both sides went into the break tied at goalless.

The second half burst to life when Yakubu’s genius put Mumbai FC in the lead just at the hour mark. After sighting East Bengal custodian Abhijit Mondal off his line, the Ghanaian striker lobbed the ball into the goal from almost the halfline leaving the home side in shock.

However, poor defending cost Mumbai FC at the other end as the hosts scored twice in succession to take the lead. Substitute Sueoka, on for Reisangmi Vashum, volleyed home Joaquim Abranches cross to pull East Bengal level five minutes later.

Moments later, the Japanese put the hosts in the lead slotting home Abhishek Das’ low square pass leaving Mumbai FC custodian Kunal Sawant helpless.

Just as it looked that the hosts would hold on to the win, an individual piece of brilliance from medio Ashutosh pulled Mumbai FC level. Going on a solo down the left flank, the well-built youngster made his way past a few defenders before cutting into the box and firing an unstoppable shot to set up a grand stand finish.

In spite of pushing up in search of the w

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