Southern Samity holds Rangdajied United FC
Mumbai Tigers hung onto a first half penalty goal against Langsning FC to make a winning start in the first leg final round encounter of the Second Division I-League at the Football Stadium here on Saturday.
It also pocketed the full three points in a league which is likely to provide some keen contests.
In an earlier encounter, Group C winner Southern Samity, Kolkata snatched a point from Rangdajied United FC, also from Shillong, with a second half equaliser for a 1-1 finish.
The Langsning team spelt danger in the early minutes of the match with Daniel Bidemu Ayeni in particular, posing threats. Twice the lanky striker shot off target and finally when he did find the net it was ruled ‘offside’.
The Mumbai Tigers did initiate some telling moves with internationals N.P. Pradeep and Mohammed Rafi. But it did not have a clear look at the Langsning goal wherein ‘keeper Prem Kumar Singh proved to be a stumbling block.
Despite the ball swinging from one end to the other in quick succession in the first half and Langsning having more of the ball possession it was the Tigers that went into the lead at half-time.
Well into the injury time, a darting Demba Dikhate was brought down inside the box and referee Ajit Metei of Manipur had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Sunil Kumar curled his kick into the far corner, past the diving outstretched hands of Prem Kumar Singh for what proved to be the match-winner.
The second half lacked both pace and purpose with both teams attempting aimless long-rangers with little effect.
The Southern Samity - Rangdajied United match saw more spills than thrills.
The game had more than a dozen stoppages for fake ‘injuries’ and one serious when Baba Tunde Ayomomide was stretchered off the field after an aerial collision. The wily striker was admitted to hospital for observation.
Bab Tunde had put Rangdajied United in front with a 30th minute strike.
Six minutes into the second half, Imran Khan found the target following a scramble to level scores for Southern Samity.
Rangdajied United 1 (Bab Tunde) drew with Southern Samity, Kolkata 1 (Imran Khan).
Mumbai Tigers 1 (Sunil Kumar) bt Langsning FC 0.
Sunday’s match: Mohammedan Sporting v Bhowanipore FC, 4.15 p.m.
Keywords: Second Division I-League