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Mumbai make hat-trick of goalless draws

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By EMN Updated: Nov 17, 2014 10:10 pm
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Agencies
Mumbai, November 17

Returning Mumbai City FC attacking midfielder Andre Moritz and FC Goa striker Tolgay Ozbey both struck the woodwork late in the second half, but that was as close as either team came to scoring in an entertaining 0-0 draw at the DY Patil Stadium.
Moritz picked up the ball about 30 yards out and unleashed a piledriver with his left foot that rattled the crossbar in the 83rd minute. Ozbey’s shot was from closer, after he had beaten a couple of defenders, and struck the inside of the near post a few minutes later as both teams pushed to break the deadlock between them — one which has remained for 180 minutes over two games.
It was also a hat-trick of goalless draws for the home team, who showed more verve and creativity in the final third than their opponents but could not find the net after trying every route to goal.Peter Reid shifted the positions of his front men throughout the match but the quartet of Nicolas Anelka, Lalrindika Ralte, Subhash Singh and Nadong Bhutia (and later Ram Malik) couldn’t really trouble Goa’s goalkeeper Jan Seda.
It was not the same at the other end though. With Mumbai focussing their entire effort on attack, FC Goa — who were very tame in the first half — broke forward a number of times in the second half, only to be kept out by the once again stellar Subrata Paul.
Romeo Fernandes’ low cross was almost fumbled into his own net by Paul and the tricky Fernandes saw another opportunity to squeeze a shot through the near post, which Paul brilliantly saved this time against the direction of his movement.
Andre Santos was next to try, finding a yard and curling a shot past his marker towards the far post where Paul was there to save again.
Santos had a number of shots on goal — one blocked by Manuel Friedrich nonchalantly when the Brazilian could surely have done better – and a drive from 35 yards out which was straight at the keeper.
Friedrich himself had one of the better chances of the match when he headed a cross from Moritz just over.
Moritz’s return was a big boost for Mumbai City as he filled the hole between midfield and attack with some fine skill and incisive passing. Gregory Arnolin couldn’t deal with the Brazilian’s first attempt at a through ball, missing his attempted clearance and allowing Anelka to just get ahead of him for a lobbed shot at goal that went over.
But it was another Moritz pass which really should have broken the deadlock in the first half. With his back to goal, Moritz delightfully tapped the ball over his marker, turned and sent in a perfectly weighted pass for Ralte to run onto, only to see the Mizoram-born winger shoot straight at the goalkeeper.
Moritz then found himself at the end of a cross from Anelka which he chested before taking an overhead scissor shot which went wide.
Mumbai had tried everything in the first half, including a period of dominance where they continually drilled crosses into the box but couldn’t find the final product. Not just their attackers, but even their defenders was unlucky. Pavel Cmovs’ low shot was first deflected before an intricate move between Jan Stohanzl and Anelka ended at the feet of Deepak Mandal, who couldn’t control the ball before seeing his stretched attempt bounce off a defender.
By the turn of the hour, it was evident that this was another game of missed chances for both the sides but there was no lack of action, aided by some very debatable decisions by the referee and a few handbags that resulted from them.
To Mumbai’s credit, they kept another clean sheet, but while they’re surely keeping it tight at the back (they allowed Goa’s dangerous defender Youness Bengelloun to only one meek header), Reid and his think tank will need to find a way to get it together in attack and find the net before getting into a rut of 0-0s.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 17, 2014 10:10:04 pm