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Mumbai City FC beat Kerala Blasters 1-0

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By EMN Updated: Nov 03, 2014 1:03 am
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Agencies
Mumbai, November 2

Former French international Nicolas Anelka was in the limelight as he helped Mumbai City FC return to winning ways and defeat Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai tonight. Anelka curled in a superb free kick one minute before halftime that proved to be the matchwinner.
The win helped the Peter Reid- coached hosts move up from the cellar to fifth spot with six points while Kerala dropped to sixth place with four points after suffering their third defeat in five games.
Mumbai could have won by a comfortable margin after striking a purple patch in the second half but wayward shooting by their forwards denied them a big win.
Jan Štohanzl blazed over the bar after a nice pass from the excellent André Moritz opened up the Kerala defence in the 58th minute. In the 75th minute a nice cutback from Anelka saw Subhash Singh with the Kerala goal at his mercy but the Manipuri skied his shot.
Hero of the match Anelka was then denied twice in one on one situations against Sandip Nandy who had started instead of player-manager David James under the Kerala bar. And in the dying seconds Nadong Bhutia struck the crossbar with a long range punt.
The match started slowly and was initially confined to the midfield with both defences holding firm. Mumbai forced a flurry of corners but as the first half progressed Kerala took control and put the Mumbai citadel under sustained pressure. However, the return of Pavel ?movš brought more stability to the Mumbai defence and Deepak Mandal who had replaced Peter Costa, also gave a good account of himself. The dangerous Iain Hume who toiled hard to get the Kerala attack rolling, was well contained.
But the night clearly belonged to the enigmatic Frenchman who curled in a superb free kick over the Kerala wall from about 25 metres out that beat a diving Nandy bar all ends up. This was his first goal in the Hero Indian Super League in only his second appearance. The free kick was awarded when holding midfielder Ishfaq Ahmed, a replacement for Mehtab Hossain, had fouled Štohanzl just outside the box.
With their campaign back on track, Mumbai now await the arrival of Delhi Dynamos FC on November 5 while Kerala return to Kochi for their first home game against FC Goa on November 6.

Record-breaking World Cup referee for ISL

Agencies
MARGAO, November 2

Uzbekistan’s Ravshan Irmatov, who holds the record for refereeing the most World Cup matches in the history of the competition, is among the officials headed to India to officiate in the Indian Super League.
The Asian Football Confederation’s best referee for four consecutive years between 2008 and 2011 and the man who officiated the opening match of the 2010 World Cup between hosts South Africa and Mexico will start officiating from mid November.
“Ravshan Irmatov is among the best referees around the world. He officiated five matches at the last World Cup in South Africa and was handed four matches at this year’s World Cup in Brazil. That shows just how good he is,” said one AIFF official.
Irmatov, the only Uzbek referee to have officiated in the finals of a Fifa tournament, will be helped by two assistants from Uzbekistan.
The AIFF first sourced referees from Major League Soccer (MLS) and are now looking at other countries, including Australia and Uzbekistan, to officiate in the high-profile league.
Australian referee Jarred Gillet, along with two assistants from Australia, will be the next foreign referee who will officiate ISL matches, starting later this week.
Gillet was the 2011-12 A-League Referee of the Year and officiated in the 2012 A-League Grand Final, where he awarded a 95th minute penalty, a decision that was the subject of much debate long after the season had concluded.
MLS referee Christopher Penso who officiated the opening game, besides several others at the start of the tournament, came in for sharp criticism after he failed to spot and send off Atletico de Kolkata striker Fikru Teferra for his headbutt on FC Goa defender Gregory Arnolin during the tempestuous tie in Goa last week. He was immediately withdrawn from officiating further in the league.
The only foreign referee at the moment is Canadian David Gantar and the AIFF remains more than pleased with his performance.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 03, 2014 1:03:30 am