Mumbai FC earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over ONGC, reduced to 10 men, in the eighth round of I-League here on Wednesday. With this win, Mumbai FC moved to eighth in the table with 10 points while ONGC are lurking in the relegation zone with just five points.
Coached by Subrata Bhattacharya, ONGC were without the services of midfielder Sandeep Sangha (suspension) and Jatin Bisht (personal reasons) before the start of the match. To add to their woes, their Asian recruit Katsumi Yusa was given marching orders by referee Prabir Dhar for head-butting Mumbai FC midfielder Ashutosh Mehta in the first-half injury time.
Evans Quao scored in the 73rd minute to guide Mumbai FC to their third win at this venue and with it the three full points.
While criticising the decision, Bhattacharya said: “It was too harsh. We were handicapped without him in the middle and that was one of the reasons for the defeat. A warning would have cooled down the matter.”
In the 73rd minute, Mumbai FC’s Gabriel Fernandes ran from the right wing and centred the ball to Quao, who headed home past a diving Prosenjit Ghosh.
Mumbai FC 1 (Evans Quao 73) bt ONGC FC 0
Prayag United 1 (Bello Rasaq 89) lost to Churchill Bros 2 (Israil Gurung 26, Bikramjit 72)
Shillong Lajong 3 (Sushil Singh 3, 49, G Friday 52) bt Pailan Arrows 1 (D Ganesh 65)
Dempo SC 3 (J Abranches 40, Ryuji Sueoka 44–pen, Godwin Franco 70) bt Mohun Bagan 0