Playing true to their form Pailan Arrows began the I-League venture with a win when they edged past visitor Mumbai FC 3-2 at the Salt Lake stadium on Saturday.
Mumbai FC successfully made a late charge and worked up a lead erasing a goal’s deficit, in the first half. Arrows drew the first blood in the 34th minute when Holicharan Narzary made the most of a mistake by the Mumbai FC custodian Sanjiban Ghosh.
The Arrows striker got the opportunity after Ghosh spilled an easy catch off a feeble grounder from Arrows’ medio Avinabo Bag. Khalid Jamil’s side regrouped after conceding the goal and found its efforts paying off in the 39th minute. The equaliser came off another goalkeeping error at the other end when the Arrows custodian Ravi Kumar sent an attempted clearance off a backpass straight on the body of Mumbai FC’s Afghanistani attacker Haroon Ameri.
ND Opara, who was lurking nearby, slotted the free ball home. James Singh put Mumbai FC in the lead in 45th minute off a 30-yard pile-driver, that went in past a diving Ravi Kumar.
A rejuvenated Arrows turned things around after the break. The developmental side of AIFF lent pace into its attacks and put the Mumbai FC defence under pressure using the width of the park. The visitor’s defence crumbled in the 53rd minute when the former’s defender Justin Stephen brought down Arrows’ attacker Pronoy Halder
inside own box. Captain Milan Singh scored from the spot to make it 2-2 for Arrows.
Ravi Kumar saved a sharp header from ND Opara in the 73rd minute to preserve the scoreline before his counterpart in the Mumbai FC goal Sanjiban committed a silly error sending an attempted clearance to an unmarked Holicharan inside own box. The Arrows gleefully accepted the 75th minute gift and made no mistake in finding
the Mumbai FC net.
Pailan Arrows 3 (Holicharan Narzary – 34th, 75th, Milan Singh – 54th (PEN)
Mumbai FC 2 (ND Opara – 39th, James Singh – 45th