Bengaluru FC’s unbeaten run at home came to an end as they went down 3-2 to Mumbai City FC in an Indian Super League clash at the Kanteerava Stadium, on Sunday. In what was an enthralling game from start to finish, Jorge Costa’s side had the final say after the Blues had levelled twice.
Subhasish Bose’s opener (12’) was cancelled out by a Mato Grgic’ own goal (58’) before Diego Carlos (77’) gave Mumbai the lead with less than 15 minutes left to play. Sunil Chhetri (89’) would score from the spot to give Carles Cuadrat’s men another shot at the winner but a strike from Rowllin Borges (90+3’) deep into injury time would settle the tie in the visitors’ favour.
Earlier, Carles Cuadrat rolled out what was an unchanged side from the trip to Pune, where his Blues claimed a 1-0 win over Odisha FC a little less than a fortnight ago. With Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh on the flanks, Chhetri was the focal point for Bengaluru yet again, with Spanish striker Manuel Onwu yet to recover from an ankle injury.
It was end-to-end football from the get go as chances fell to both sides in the opening exchanges. Sarthak Goloui’s last-ditch tackle stopped Ashique Kuruniyan from scoring the opener, shortly before Harmanjot Khabra stopped Bipin Singh from breaking the deadlock at the other end of the field.
Mumbai struck first blood just past the ten-minute mark when, after a clearance from a corner, Mohamed Larbi swung in a cross that found Subhasish Bose unmarked at the far post. The Mumbai full-back nodded home from close, past a hapless Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the BFC goal. Bengaluru’s first chance to draw level came 12 minutes later when Erik Paartalu’s ball into the box found Udanta, but the winger’s finish was found wanting.
There was drama later in the first-half when Juanan Gonzalez was adjudged to have brought down Mumbai striker Amine Chermiti in the box, as the visitors were handed the chance to double their lead from 12 yards out. Juanan, in his attempt to make inroads to a deflected cross had the Tunisian in his path, who then took a tumble to win the spot-kick. But the scores would stay the same as Sandhu dived hard to his right to stop the penalty from Larbi, in what was the last action of the first period.
Bengaluru made a change at the break with Rahul Bheke replacing Nishu Kumar. Bheke took over duties at the right-back position from Khabra who moved into midfield, while Ashique dropped deep to replace Nishu at left-back. Bengaluru then took a grip of things, pushing forward in their search of an equalizer.
Just shy of the hour mark, Bengaluru would draw things level, with Mato Grgic turning the ball into his own net from a Dimas Delgado corner. Under pressure from Albert Serran, the Croatian could only divert his attempt to equalize past Amrinder Singh.
Mumbai made changes of their own as Raynier Fernandes and Diego Carlos were thrown into the mix to replace Bipin Singh and Moudou Sougou. The substitutions would pay dividends for Jorge Costa, with the duo combining to give the visitors the lead once again. Picking up a throw in, Raynier swung in a cross that found Carlos unmarked at the far post, and the Brazilian nodded home to make it 2-1 on the night.
Bengaluru would throw the kitchen sink once again and draw level, after Udanta’s cross into the box for Chhetri saw the skipper head goalward, only for the ball to strike the hand of Goloui in the box. Referee Turki Mohammad pointed to the spot for a second time on the night and Chhetri made no mistake from the spot to bring his side level once again.
But with both sides vying for possession in the closing minutes, it was Mumbai that had the final say, with a set-piece from Paolo Machado falling for Subhasish deep into injury time. The full-back’s header fell for Rowllin Borges, who improvised to divert into the goal and make it 2-3. Bengaluru had a chance to go level yet again in the dying moments of injury time when a set-piece was sent long into the area, but Amrinder did well to stop the ball from creeping through his grasp, in what was the final action of the game.
Bengaluru travel to Guwahati next, where they face NorthEast United in the first of their reverse fixtures in the Indian Super League this season, on 18th December.
JSW Media Release