This was Mumbai’s first win in 2012, that will also help them stay away from drop zone for some more time as the Essel Group-promoted outfit went six points clear of Chirag United Kerala.
Mumbai now have 17 points from 19 matches, while Chirag is on 11 from 18 with their one game against Pailan Arrows to be played on a later date.
Churchill remain on 33 points, but their bargaining power of having played one game less than other top teams fizzled out with Monday’s loss.
Both Churchill and Mumbai began at brisk pace. Churchill deservedly took the lead when Henry Antchouet, who played from midfield to upfront moved from the left before sending a cross into the box. Beto was lurking around there, but realizing that he was heavily marked the Brazilian cleared the ball for ND Opara, who put Churchill 1-0 ahead in the 20th minute.
Unlike in past few matches, Mumbai FC kept their morale high with relentless runs into Churchill forte—once PC Lalwmpuia missed a close chance with just the Chruchill ‘keeper Arindam Bhattacharya to beat.
The equalizer came as a blinder that Churchill never expected from Mumbai FC. That was something made the difference as a tad complacent Goan outfit let go golden chance of bridging the point gap with leaders Dempo SC.
Gbeneme Friday had moved up in the right corner from where the Nigerian sent a measured pass into the box. Lalwmpuia was on target but Bhattacharya punched it out only to see the ball go straight to Cavin Lobo.
The Mumbai FC midfielder had been unlucky earlier on, but this time he had enough space between the defenders to measure his shot—a blinder that left everyone stranded.
On resumption, Mumbai FC began in the same pace—a few wild shots off the target showed their intentions.
In between Henry suffered a cut on his head but still he went in and played after heavy bandage was wrapped around his head. But even for final whistle was blown, Churchill seemed to resign to end the match in a draw before Dhanachandra Singh scored the winner.
In the 83rd minute, Dhanachandra moved upfront from the left before sending the ball in. On second rebound, Friday goes further acute in the right before smashing the ball back for Dhanachandra to head in the winner.
Cavin Lobo was adjudged man of the match.
By Indian Sports News