SPORTING BEAT MUMBAI FC TO ENTER HERO FED CUP SEMI-FINALS.

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Sporting Clube de Goa put up an exceptional performance to beat Mumbai FC 1 – 0 (2 -0 aggregate) to progress into the semi-finals of Hero Fed Cup here at Fatorda on Wednesday. A 46th minute Subashish Bose penalty sealed the fate of Mumbai FC.

Mateus Costa made two changes to the side which beat Mumbai 0-1 at Cooporage. Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Marcus Mascarenhas made way for Joseph Clemente and Ganesh Thakur. Clemente’s introduction seemed like a successful move to keep Mumbai’s Sushil Singh quite.

The first opportunity of the match came Mumbai’s way early in the 7th minute when Minchol Son missed a sitter from an arm’s length of Taisuke Matsugae header.  In the 11th minute Sporting responded well with a Rowllin Borges free kick from the far corner which hit the cross bar to send chills down the spine of Mumbai FC players. The next minute Pratesh Shirodkar collected a loose ball in the mid and launched a bullet towards Kunal Sawant who did equally well to keep the ball out of Mumbai nets. Sumeet Passi was in his sublime touch as he managed to be at the right place in the right time on numerous occasions’ but couldn’t beat Kunal.  The best chance for Sporting came in the 29th minute when Pratesh created a good move to find Ganesh on the right who dribbled past defenders to send in a brilliant low cross towards a charging Passi who failed to make contact. Towards the end Passi had another chance to put Sporting ahead when he beat his marker to come head on against Kunal who had moved yards away from his position, however the former couldn’t get elevation right as he send this one into the sky’s. Sporting were maintaining constant pressure but Mumbai defense managed to see them off every single time. The score stayed 0 – 0 at half-time.

Crossing over the match witnessed an early drama as in the 46th minute when Ashutosh Mehta got booked for a hand ball inside the box. Subashish Bose stepped up and calmly send Kunal Sawant the wrong way giving Sporting the much required lead early in the half. The match witnessed numerous set pieces as Rowllin for Sporting and Steven for Mumbai kept sending in dangerous balls failing to find the right finisher on either sides.  With a goal up Sporting smartly kept a tight formation not allowing Mumbai forwards to get any clear cut chances. A few on target attempts from Mumbai in the second half were heroically kept out courtesy MOM performance by Arindam Bhattacharya. Sporting clearly created better chances as Gaffer Costa introduced Victorino Fernandes and Ndidi Chukwama in the second half to provide pace for Passi upfront.  Towards the final quarter Pratesh and Rowllin missed one each for Sporting while Sushil Singh’s shot brushed the cross bar failing to find takers. Dying minutes of the match saw Sporting going all out at Mumbai but failed to break down their defense. With this win Sporting move on to the semi-finals where they meet Aizawl FC over a two legged encounter.

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