Harpal Singh Bedi
Kolkata: Displaying awesome fire power Mumbai City trounced Rajasthan United 5-1 in their Group B league match of the 131stIndianOil Durand Cup football tournament , at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK), here on Monday.
.Greg Stewart opened the scoring for the Islanders in the 10th minute, with Lallianzuala Chhangte doubling the advantage in the 18th and Mehtab Singh adding a third in the 35th, to put the issue beyond Rajasthan in the first half itself.
In the second, Ahmed Jahouh converted a penalty won by substitute Vikram Pratap Singh, before Gyanmar Nikum got one back for Rajasthan . Vikram Pratap then nailed one in himself in the second minute of stoppage time to make it a five-star performance from the Islanders.
Rajasthan looked a far cry from the spirited side of their first two games with Mumbai snuffing out whatever challenge they would have provided in the first half itself, with some eye-catching football.
The first Mumbai City goal gave an indication of things to come when Argentine Pereyra Diaz, with a lovely body turn in midfield, found Scotsman Greg Stewart’s run in between two defenders, who made no mistake with a clinical finish. This was after Rajasthan had got the game’s first corner for themselves in the very first minute itself.
Mumbai continued to attack and Lallianzuala Chhangte, who had had a few runs before that, received the ball on the right flank and cut inside, to let go a left-footer which took an unfortunate deflection from Rajasthan defender Aidar Mambetaliev’s head to wrong foot keeper Niraj Kumar and go in.
In the 35th minute, Greg Stewart took a free-kick from the right, floating the ball across goal. Mehtab Singh, who had come in from his position in deep defence, met it on the half-volley and found the back of the net.
The game was well beyond Rajasthan now. To their credit however, they came out with positive intent in the second-half and did create more chances to score than they did in the first.
Mumbai was also not letting up and after Vikram Pratap was deemed to have been brought down in the box, Jahouh converted from the spot calmly to make it 4-0 for the Islanders in the 63rd minute.
Rajasthan then got a consolation goal from 17-year-old Gyanmar Nikum, who had been brought on a few minutes back. The scorer of the winning goal against Mohun Bagan, got the ball on the edge of the box on the right and burst through two defenders to curl it with his left into the back of the rival’s net.
Not to be left behind in the goal feast, Vikram Pratap got at the end of a through from midfield by Stewart, to slot in a fifth for Mumbai in the second minute of stoppage time.