Mumbai Strikers (MS) were pitted against newly promoted side JMJ SC in their ninth league game of the Elite Division Season on Tuesday. Out of luck, out of form MS were at the receiving end of a dismal 6-0 loss as the Strikers have never in its history encountered such a testing season.
MS gained control right from the start of the first half and dominated possession. JMJ took the lead in the 23rd minute against run of play as a failed long pass by center back Albins D'cruz rebounded of the back of midfielder Amit Koli, falling to the JMJ Striker who fed it instantly to the winger who blazed down the flank to score of a blocked initial attempt. MS were gutted as the second goal came just minutes later when a first time lobbed attempt by the JMJ Midfielder scaled over backtracking MS keeper Nikhilesh Kubal. MS tried to gather the pieces by keeping hold of the ball and creating several chances to reduce the margin. One such chance fell to Winger Rishabh Vishwakarma as he hit the post from within the six yard box on a pinpoint cross provided by wing back Madhusudan Phadale. Another chance went begging as winger Gaurav Adhikari's header went just over the crossbar. Attacking Midfielder Siddhant Jhangam dribbled through a line of defenders as he cut inside from the left wing attempting a screamer of a shot that just went over the crossbar much to JMJ's relief. MS ended the half two goals down.
MS went into the second half with an intention to get on the scoresheet. The Strikers dominated possession as JMJ had all eleven players defending in their half for the first 15 mins. MS conceded the third goal just as it looked that they would score any moment. A tackle by Stopper Madhusudan Phadale was adjudged a foul just above the D-box. The resultant free kick bounced inside the six yard box as the MS defenders tried to get to it in panic. A few missed kicks and a half headed clearance saw the ball fall to an unmarked striker at the back post who headed it in as keeper Nikhilesh Kubal failed to reach it. After conceding the third goal, MS had majority players in attack and risked being punished on counters. MS looked out of luck as they missed several chances to reduce the margin. The risky tactics of an all out attack went the other way as JMJ capitalised on the low numbers in the MS defence. Three JMJ counters ended in MS conceding three more goals at regular intervals. JMJ were spot on with their counters as they attacked with speed. The match ended with JMJ winning 6-0.
MS gaffer Maclin D'penha will need to fix the leaking defence inorder to end the poor run of form. MS look to regroup as they play mid-table DK Pharma SC next on Friday morning.