I-League: Mumbai split points with BFC
Striker Robin Singh, getting a full game at long last with skipper Sunil Chhetri sitting out on a suspension, made up for the missed chances with a 55th minute equaliser to help Bengaluru FC salvage a 1-1 draw with Mumbai FC in an Airtel I-League match here Sunday.
Mumbai, languishing in the bottom half of the league table, went ahead on a 47th minute goal by Nigerian import Ebi Sukore, but could not capitalise on the advantage as Robin Singh headed home a Beikhokhei cross eight minutes later to tie the game.
League leaders Bengaluru took their tally to 31 points from 16 games with nine wins and four draws while Mumbai inched to 18, also from 16 outings.
BFC looked the better team, but missed far too many chances with Robin Singh, Sean Rooney and their set-piece specialist John Johnson muffing openings. Robin Singh, in fact, nearly scored in the second minute but his attempt came off the crossbar.
Setting a hectic pace at the outset, BFC harried the Mumbai defence that did well to withstand the onslaught. After surviving some close calls, Mumbai then swung on the offensive, but matched their rivals in blowing away scoring opportunities.
After a hectic 20 minutes, the pace noticeably slowed down with both teams playing some probing football without really having a good look at the goal as they went into the breather on level terms.
On resumption, Mumbai again came under attack, but managed to survive and then hit back with Sakure driving home to put the visitors in front much against the run of play.
Shocked, BFC stepped up the pace. Their desperate attempts finally paid dividends when Robin Singh made no mistake with a header, thus atoning for the chances he had failed to convert earlier in the game.
Thereafter, the ball swung from end to end, but every time a goal looked imminent, the rival defenders stepped up to thwart the danger. BFC had better of the exchanges, but it was the same old tale of inability to convert openings.
The rival goalkeepers Pawan Kumar (BFC) and Mumbai's Kunal Sawant were posed some serious questions, but both acquitted themselves well to ensure a draw.
(Posted on 23-02-2014)