Fancied Mumbai Tigers struck twice at the fag end of their I-League Second Division Group ‘C’ contest to savour a hard-fought 2-1 win over Kalighat MS at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Thursday.
The Tigers, the strongest of the eight teams in fray in the group in terms of experience, conceded the lead for the second consecutive match. Kalighat, who enjoyed a slight upper hand in the opening half, went ahead a minute before the lemon break through their frontman Christopher Chizoba.
With the one-goal cushion, the Kolkatan side went into a defensive mode in the second session and they almost pulled of their sec ond successive narrow win following the 1-0 defeat of Hindustan FC in their opener.
However, the Tigers secured the equaliser, thanks to the set-piece brilliance of their talismanic medio N.P. Pradeep.
The former India international converted a freekick in style as late as in the 89th minute to bring some relief to the Mumbai camp.
More joy was in store for the Paresh Shivalkar-led side as Demba Dikhate netted the winner in the added time, the Nigerian striker’s second goal from two games.
The Tigers, who had shared honours with Eagles in the opener, now have four points from two ties while Kalighat MS stay on three.
In the day’s first match, Southern Samity, the second Kolkatan team in contention here, notched up in their second victory at the expense of Kochi-based side Eagles FC. M. Basanta Singh scored the winner in the 33rd minute.
Samity, who had won their opening encounter against Vasco SC, moved to the top of the table with six points while Eagles have a single point to their credit after their fighting draw against the Tigers.
With none of the teams showing fluency or supremacy so far in the group, keen contests are awaited towards the business end of the phase. Only the top two teams will make it to the final round of qualifiers, a double round-robin format to be played in Bengaluru and Kerala respectively.
Results: Mumbai Tigers: 2 (N.P.Pradeep 89, Demba Dikhate 90+) bt Kalighat MS: 1 (Christopher Chizoba 44); Southern Samity: 1 (M. Basanta Singh 33) bt Eagles FC: 0.
Source – deccanchronicle.com