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Diakhate scores brace in Tigers’ win

Sports Reporter
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Football / Southern Samity reduced to 10 men after Onyeama is sent off

Second win:Despite being the better side, Tigers managed to break Southern Samity down only after Francis Onyeama’s red card in the 63rd minute.— PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR
Second win:Despite being the better side, Tigers managed to break Southern Samity down only after Francis Onyeama’s red card in the 63rd minute.— PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR

Mumbai Tigers saw off 10-man Southern Samity to remain top of the second division I-League’s final phase table (first leg).

N.P. Pradeep’s fine 64th-minute strike was followed by a brace from Demba Diakhate, leading Mumbai to a 3-0 win at the Football Stadium here on Tuesday.

The scoreline flatters Tigers who, although the better side, had not convincingly broken Southern Samity down till Francis Onyeama’s red card in the 63rd minute.

Tigers dominated possession in the first half,

Thoi Singh and Pradeep fashioning a couple of chances, but to no avail. Strikers Diakhate and Mohammed Rafi both headed over from close range while Pradeep’s free-kick was saved by Naseem Akhtar.

Samity had a chance of its own, but Onyeama’s shot was palmed over the bar.

The Nigerian would figure far more prominently in the second half.

A booking in the 59th minute was followed by a second one 14 minutes later, this time for a lunging tackle on Loukik Jadhav. The floodgates opened at once.

Pradeep cut in from the right, beating Sovan Chakraborty twice before scoring with a left-footed shot from the edge of the area.

Samity, to its credit, went forward in search of the equaliser, but was hit on the break. Pradeep put Diakhate through on 79 minutes, and the latter rounded Akhtar to slot home.

The pair repeated its act 10 minutes later, Pradeep springing the Senegalese free with an excellent lob.

The result was Tigers’ second victory in two games, pushing it to six points, two clear of Bhawanipore FC. The latter recorded its first win earlier in the day, Marco Baretto’s injury-time penalty taking it past Rangdajied United.

The results: Bhawanipore FC 1 (Marco Baretto 90+1) bt Rangdajied United 0; Mumbai Tigers 3 (N.P. Pradeep 64, Demba Diakhate 79, 89) bt Southern Samity 0.

Wednesday’s match: Emta Mohammedan SC vs Langsning FC.

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