"If at first you don't succed, try, try again".
Pranjal Bhumij must have the quote printed on a white piece of paper which pasted on his room's wall. Because that's the kind of grit he showed in the 93rd minute with his team on the brink of another loss, the 71st minute substitution for Mumbai
City FC let one go from 35 yards out and buried it into the top-right corner. A flailing Dheeraj Singh
could do nothing about it and the shot wiped the every-present smile off Kerala's manager David James' face.
The game played at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
was a game of two halves. THe first belonged to Kerala, who came into the game after an encouraging 2-0 win at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata.
were superb, backed by their fantastic fans who have literally lit up the stadium. They gave little to no inch to the visiting team. By the 30th minute, Kerala
had taken six shots to Mumbai's one.
The icing on the cake was Narzary's goal in the 24th minute that pushed Kerala
ahead 1-0 in the first half. Narzary received a cross on the left channel inside the box, brought it down under control with his first touch and absolutely dispatched it into the back of the net.
But after the play resumed in the second half, the men in Blue looked a different team. Unafraid, they ventured into the opposition's half, and although the goal didn't come they kept knocking at the door. The resistance fell through minutes before the final whistle and that was with a wonder strike by Bhumij.
looked set to be condemened to two back-toback defeats but this draw against a formidable opponent should give them confidence. As for Kerala, they did brilliantly except for a little slacking off in the second half. The draw must be a kick in the teeth for the home team who looked set to go home with all three points.
Nevertheless, Kerala now go top of the points table while Mumbai
City sit in the eighth spot, and despite the gritty draw know that all is not well for them. They must introspect, but more importantly, gain confidence the late draw here today.