Foreigners rule the roost for Mahindra
Feisty Mahindra United came from behind to score an upset 3-1 win over formidable JCT, Phagwara, giving their opponents first taste of defeat, in an electrifying ONGC Cup I-League 10th round game played at the Cooperage ground here on Thursday.
The Mumbai outfit pulled off a home win, after conceding an early goal against JCT that too from a foreigner strike, as finally the foreign players came to the fore for Mahindra. Man of the match Andrew Mensah struck a brace to take his team onto a lead while Douhou Pierre belted the final blow to the visitors, washing off their record of staying unbeaten in the ongoing league thus far.
JCT suffered the first defeat after nine matches, yet retained the second position with 19 points, while Mahindra moves to fourth place, on top of Mohun Bagan on goal difference, taking their tally to 14 points.
Mahindra scored a victory despite missing powerful Ghanaian playmaker and skipper Yusif Yakubu whikle JCT missed the services of Julius Irabor Akpele that might have cost them the match.
JCT surged ahead in the seventh minute through Eduardo, who scored off a Marcos Pereira corner kick. Mahindra instantly got their act together and started forays in the rival citadel and thus in return neutralised the seventh minute strike four minutes later through Mensah.
Brawny Mensah, speedy striker from Ghana , positioned himself well ahead of the JCT's defence and received a fine diagonal pass from Douhou,Mensah slotted the ball into the net on the turn with a fast grounder inside the right post.
Mahindra United's medio Dou looked the best in the match. Not only he dribbled past the rival defence and created numerous chances for his team but he was also on the look out to score everytime he went for attack.
Mahindra's coach Derrick Pereira marched off from the dug out by Referee Benjamin Silva before second-half after the former raised questions on his decisions. Both the teams went to the breather with a 1-1 scoreline.
On resumption, JCT strikers were totally out of focus in the second-half while Mahindra took control of the game and though the scoreboard still showing a drab 1-1.
JCT star striker Sunil Chetri couldn't do much as he took the ball past the Mahindra's NP Pradeep, custodian Nandy rushed out, but the ball narrowly missed crossing the goalline. Mahindra's substitute Bhola Prasad set up Mensah's second goal, a powerful downward header in the 65 th minute.
Mensah headed the ball in for his second goal off Bhola Prasad pass from the right of the box. JCT goalkeeper Karanjit Singh charged towards the ball's direction but it hit the post and came back for a goal to give Mahindra United 2-1 lead.
Mahindra's lanky striker Douhou Pierre came up with an individual effort for the third goal. He snatched the ball from a JCT defender and surprised goalie Karanjit Singh with his powerful strike to make it 3-1.
Read More: St Pierre and Miquelon | Mumbai | Bhola Nath Nagar | Bus Stand Phagwara | Phagwara Ho | Railway Road Phagwara | Mehli Gate Phagwara | Thaper Colony Phagwara | Banga Road Phagwara Ndtso | Bazar Sarafan Phagwara Ndtso | Hadiabad Phagwara | Phagwara Road | Bhola | Pure Prasad | Jingle Ayodhayay Prasad | Ganguly Bagan | Basak Bagan | Kalabari Bagan | Luksh Bagan Bo | Prasad Pur Bo | Ganga Prasad Diara
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