A ten-man Mumbai FC suffered their second consecutive home-defeat after going down fighting to Shillong Lajong FC 2-3 in an I-League Round 6 encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Midfielder Taisuke Matsugane (6th minute) gave Lajong an early lead before striker Sandjar Ahmadi (16th) equalised for the hosts in the first half.
However, a second half brace from striker Cornell Glen (60th & 79th) put Lajong in the driving seat. Defender Ritesh Perambra (90+2nd) pulled one back for the hosts deep into added time but it turned out to be a consolation goal
The hosts played the final quarter of the game with ten men after substitute Haroon Amiri received a straight red card.
Coach Khalid Jamil made two changes to the side that faced Salgaocar FC in the previous round. Defender Ritesh Perambra and striker Jayesh Rane replaced Haroon Amiri and Valeriano Rebello in the starting lineup.
Mumbai FC’s defense was caught napping in the early exchanges as Taisuke gave Shillong the lead. Controlling Ashutosh Mehta’s header on the halfline, the Japanese set on a solo and did well to slot it past the keeper from the edge of box on the right.
Ten minutes later, the hosts equalised through striker Sandjar. Left-back Kamaljeet sent in a long pass to Sandjar from the hosts half. The Afghan did well to create space with some assistance from Jayesh and hit a grounder from outside the box on the left which beat Lajong ‘keeper Vinay Singh at the near post.
The hosts kept the pressure on Shillong and once again went close six minutes after the half hour mark only for Dane Pereira’s powerful long range attempt being denied by the Lajong keeper who produced a diving save.
Both sides went into the break tied at 1-1.
The visitors once again took the lead on the hour mark through striker Cornell. After being sent in the clear by medio Boithang Haokip, the Trinidad and Tobago international beat defender Anwar Ali on the run before sending a left-footer past Mumbai FC custodian Kunal Sawant.
Ten minutes later, striker Orok Essien almost pulled back the hosts level. Holding off challenges of four Lajong defenders, the striker’s attempt from inside the box went inches wide at the far post.
Seven minutes later, Glen completed his brace with a crisp strike from the edge of the box after beating three defenders on the right with pace.
Into the final ten minutes, it went bad to worse for Mumbai FC. Substitute Amiri – on for Dane Pereira – was sent off after getting into a tussle with Lajong skipper Minchol Son.
Two minutes into added time, defender Ritesh pulled one back for Mumbai FC to set up a nervy finish. Substitute Rohit Mirza – on for Jayesh – was fouled on the left flank earning the hosts a freekick. Sandjar’s curling freekick was headed in at the far post by Ritesh.
The visitors however held on to their one goal lead to hand Mumbai FC their second defeat.