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Yakubu nets the winner

Calcutta: Yusif Yakubu’s spark of brilliance in the last minute of the injury-time helped Mumbai FC pull off a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Prayag United SC in an I-League match, at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Sunday.

Yakub’s goal against his former club came a minute after substitute striker Shankar Oraon had made it 2-2.

United SC went ahead in the 29th minute off a Ranty Martins goal but the hosts could not sustain the momentum as the visitors came out of their defensive shell after the interval.

Evams Quao restored parity in the 52nd minute before substitute Abhishek Yadav scored with his first touch in the 81st.

Apart from the loss in a home match, what would hurt United SC is the defenders’ inability to deal with pressure and the midfielders’ failure to create moves.

The high-profile stars like Gouramangi Singh, Carlos Hernandez and Ranty Martins simply failed to get their act right.

A Carlos dribble or his ability to trick the opponent defenders with swift turns might be a treat for the eyes but they didn’t seem to pose any threat to the opposition.

Mumbai FC, on the other hand, stuck to a simple plan. They attacked on the break and defended resolutely.

Both the teams enjoyed a chance each within the first five minutes.

Mumbai FC midfielder Gabriel Fernandes met out a goalline clearance to Ranty’s fourth-minute effort before United SC goalkeeper Ishan Debnath put a diving effort to save a half-volley from Evams, in the fifth minute.

In the 29th minute, Ranty gave United SC the lead. Midfielder K. Asif lobbed the ball for Ranty from the edge of the box.

The Nigerian struck a beautiful right-footer to net the ball past an onrushing Mumbai FC custodian Louis Barreto.