I-LEAGUE 2014-15 : Dempo and Mumbai FC match ended goalless.

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17.05.2015 : DEMPO SC -- 0-0 -- MUMBAI FC - (FT)

AIFF PRESS RELEASE : Dempo Sports Club and Mumbai FC played a goalless draw that did not alter the fortunes of any team in their relegation battle of the Hero I-League at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Sunday.

Dempo survived some early pressure from Mumbai FC, chiefly due to their own negligence while dealing with aerial balls. Whenever Mumbai FC crossed the ball into the Dempo goalmouth, there was panic and the hosts were lucky not to be down by an early goal. Josimar Martins saw his header being saved by goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani and another header from Mohammad Rafi was wide of the target.

Dempo took some time to get into the groove and it was left to Tolgay Ozbey to start the moves. The Australian striker was working his way nicely on the left flank and in one such move when he had released Holicharan Narzary, the striker's powerful shot ricocheted off the goalpost.

Another chance went waste for Dempo when Holicharan saw Lenny Rodrigues unmarked and relayed the ball to him. But R Vashum was on hand to thwart the danger just when Lenny was preparing to take aim at goal.

In the second session, Jayesh Rane went close for Mumbai FC and Taisuke Matsugae failed to follow up. Dempo too continued with their missed chances as Tolgay, Jewel Raja and Francis Fernandes were all found wanting in front of goal.

Mumbai FC were getting bolder by the minute but everytime they ran into a wall put together by Dempo defender Callum Angus and goalkeeper Kattimani. The Dempo goalkeeper did well to block a close-range shot from Rafi just after the half an hour mark and was also called into action in the 86th minute when a freekick from Climax Lawrence brushed the wall and threatened to sail into the net before Kattimani rose to the occasion.

Dempo's major threat came from quick counter attacks but with Tolgay lacking sharpness up front all of the chances went waste.

The draw did neither team's survival chances any good. While Mumbai FC now have 18 points in their kitty, Dempo have 17 points, the same as Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar FC. Dempo play Salgaocar twice in the next three matches, while Mumbai FC's opponents include East Bengal and Bharat FC.

PREVIEW : MFC PRESS RELEASE : Mumbai FC, back to full strength, are all geared up for the strong challenge against Dempo SC, Goa in a 21st round I-League match to be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Margao, Goa on Sunday evening. Playwin is the official sponsor of Mumbai FC, the lone club from Mumbai participating in this competition.

Khalid Jamil, coach of the Mumbai club returns to the hot seat after serving a four-match suspension imposed by the AIFF. MumbaI FC will be further bolstered with inspirational and attacking Japanese midfielder Taisuke Matsugae set to make a comeback after recovering from a long calf injury lay-off.

Jamil mentioned that the team has prepared well and wants to win at all cost. "We have been working hard during the break over the last two weeks and have worked out different strategies, which we plan to execute in the match tomorrow as I am determined to get a positive result," Jamil said after a training session on the eve of the match.

"I have instructed my players that they have to stay focused and give more than 100 percent as a win is very important for us," the Mumbai coach admitted.

This match is crucial for both teams as Mumbai FC and former champions Dempo, are not yet safe from the drop zone. The Mumbai outfit with 17 points from as many games presently occupy the ninth position ahead of the Goan club who are in the 10th spot with a tally of 16 points from the same number of matches played. Sporting Clube de Goa sits at the bottom with 14 points.

The Mumbai side will also look to avenge their 1-0 defeat against Dempo in the last meeting at home. Carlos Hernandez had converted a late contentious penalty to give the Goans a win.

The good news for Mumbai FC is that their hard-working medio Matsugae will add depth to their attack and put pressure on the Dempo defence, Brazilian Josimar Da Silva, who has so far scored 7 goals in this competition will continue to spearhead the attack in the company of Mohammed Rafi and Jayesh Rane and coach Jamil will hope they capitalise on every single opportunity.

Stopper Justine Stephen is also likely to regain his place alongside Chika Wali, while wing backs Allan Dias and Rahul Bheke will complete the backline. Sampath Kuttymani and Ashutosh Mehta will have to once again produce a good performance in the midfield to support Matsugae and the defenders.

Goalkeeper Nidhinlal A.C. will miss the match due to a hand injury, but coach Jamil is hoping that substitute goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh will reproduce the same kind of form as he did in the last match against Mohun Bagan, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Mumbai club can also draw confidence from the fact that they remained unbeaten in their last four games, which have ended in identical 1-1 draws, including three tough away matches. Mumbai FC is also desperate for a win as their last success came against Bharat FC, Pune, in late February.

The match kicks-off at 4.30 pm, but coach Jamil was unconcerned about the hot condition. "The temperature is very hot, but will not affect our team as the conditions are similar to back home in Mumbai," Jamil explained before heading to the team bus and return to the cool confines of his hotel room.