ArrayNew Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) A last gasp strike from Robin Singh helped hosts Delhi Dynamos salvage a point in their 1-1 draw against Mumbai City FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) contest here on Friday.
Two opportunistic second half strikes punctuated an otherwise lifeless match at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium that saw Frenchman Frederic Piquionne secure Mumbai the lead in the 70th minute only for Robin to fire in a left footer in the 90th minute to share the spoils.
The draw helped both teams improve their standings in the points table with Dynamos jumping to the second spot with 14 points after eight matches, level with toppers FC Goa, but behind them on goal difference.
Mumbai moved up two spots in the fourth place with 11 points from as many matches.
Dynamos began the match with intent getting into Mumbai’s penalty box but couldn’t create much trouble. Their Brazilian marquee player-coach Roberto Carlos named striker Adil Nabi, in place of Robin Singh, in the first team, dropping himself from the team that played their last match against NorthEast United FC. Len and Souvik Chakrabarty also got a look in.
Mumbai also had their moments when they threatened but also came up short in the final third. Their attack primarily rose from the feet of Haitian forward Sony Norde, who operated on the left side of the wing.
The action were mostly concentrated in midfield as both teams waited for the other to commit a mistake. Both teams lacked in creativity and were intent on hoofing the ball aerially towards their strikers rather than any concrete effort to create chances.
The coaches also adopted a safety first approach neither urged their men to march forward to break the deadlock keeping their formations tight.
Neither team held on to the ball for long, which didn’t allow attacks to flow leading to a 0-0 scoreline at the half-time.
Things looked up after the break as Dynamos’ Len broke free from the left. But he failed to find the net with his shot from an acute angle.
Mumbai’s Sunil Chhetri received a similar opportunity on the other end on his preferred right foot. His shot was kept out by goalkeeper Toni Doblas.
Dynamos also forced a save out of Mumbai goalkeeper Subrata Paul, who was hurried into parrying a left-footed shot from Frenchman Florent Malouda onto the bar in the 53rd minute.
Carlos injected Robin and Gustvo Dos Santos in search of goals on 69 minutes. But were left scratching head when his team conceded a minute later.
His team’s defence, well organised and disciplined so far, paid for employing the offside trap one too many times.
Striker Piquionne beat the trap set by the Delhi defence, which formed a high-line to catch him off-guard, and rounded Doblas to roll the ball into the net.
Dynamos pushed up in desperation and Robin forced Paul to tip his accurate header over the bar.
Just when it looked like Mumbai had done enough to secure three points in a drab contest, Robin provided some late drama, utilising a Malouda free-kick to bang in a low left footer in the left corner to let Dynamos escape with a point.