Mumbai FC registered their second consecutive win by beating Shillong Lajong 4-1 in a sixth round match of the I-League at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi here on Saturday.
Nicholas Rodrigues (18th), Gabriel Fernandes (20th), Justine Stephen (82nd) were on target for Mumbai and substitute ND Opara scored the fourth in the injury time while Sushil Singh pulled one back for Shillong in the 75th minute.
However, the result of the match was overshadowed by some controversial decisions and rough play by Shillong players, who faced their coach’s ire. “One cannot win matches by kicking at opponents,” Shillong coach Desmond Bulpin said after his team suffered a humiliating defeat.
The match lacked a proper flow as the tackles flew in thick and fast. Referee Tejas Nagvenkar had to stop play time and again to warn the players. Bulpin felt the referee was too lenient on several occasions and his players deserved a couple of sending offs.
“There should have been at least two red cards,” said Bulpin about his players. Instead, the referee flashed only two yellow cards. “The credit should go to Mumbai FC as they played positive and that was the reason for their victory,” said Bulpin.
Shillong Lajong are placed eighth while Mumbai are a spot behind them. In their next match, Mumbai take on Mohun Bagan at the same venue on November 25, while Shillong face Churchill Brothers at home on November 24.
Meanwhile, East Bengal moved to the top of the table with a 3-0 win over Churchill Brothers at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda. Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi scored a brace and Manandeep Singh added his name to the scoresheet to help East Bengal move ahead of Dempo (13 points) and Churchill Brothers (12 points). East Bengal’s city rivals Mohun Bagan continued the rebuilding work as they beat Salgaocar 3-0 win at the Salt Lake Stadium.