Kolkata: Pailan Arrows kicked off their I-League campign in style, defeating an erratic Mumbai FC in a five-goal thriller at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here Saturday.
Man-of-the-Match Holicharan Narzary struck twice (34th, 76th) while Ongnam Singh fired in a 54th minute penalty to start the sixth edition of the tournament with a 3-2 victory in front of empty stands.
Mumbai FC came back from behind with goals from N D Opara (39th) and James Singh (45th) but they could not hold on to the lead, thanks to Sanjibon Ghosh's shoddy goalkeeping, as the young side walked away with three points.
For the AIFF developmental side, who had finished a lowly 13th in the previous I-League with just two wins, it was an inspiring show as they dominated the proceedings, barring an odd goalkeeping lapse.
With a 2.30pm start, the stadium witnessed deserted stands but there was no let-off in the intensity of the match as the spirited development side troubled Mumbai with their quick inroads.
Carrying the momentum of the Federation Cup where the Arrows held Mumbai 2-2, the local boys pushed themselves for an early goal.
But it was casual goalkeeping that gave Arrows the lead when Mumbai's Sanjibon Ghosh failed to gather Avinabo Baig's shot as Narzary got the maximum from the opportunity.