Mumbai City FC registered a fourth consecutive win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 2-1 victory against Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. Jakub Sylvestr broke the deadlock for Chennaiyin before Hernan Santana headed in an equaliser for Mumbai on the stroke of halftime. The Islanders’ top-scorer this season Adam le Fondre netted the winner for Sergio Lobera’s men in the 75th minute.
Chennaiyin began the game brightly and had two good opportunities in the opening three minutes. The first one came from a corner that Enes Sipovic flicked on to the far post only for Sylvestr to miss the target from close range, while the second was a Lallianzuala Chhangte shot from outside the box that didn’t test Mumbai’s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
The Marina Machans enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but Mumbai gradually grew into the game and started dominating possession. The Islanders had a big chance to take the lead in the 25th minute when Hugo Boumous put le Fondre through on goal. The Englishman’s shot, though, was saved by Chennaiyin’s goalkeeper Vishal Kaith and Bipin Singh’s shot from the rebound was dragged wide.
Chennaiyin, meanwhile, continued to get into dangerous areas but the final ball by their players kept letting them down up until the 40th minute when Chhangte combined with Sylvestr to give the Marina Machans the lead. After getting in behind Mumbai’s defence and carrying the ball to the byline, Chhangte provided a cutback for Sylvestr, who tapped the ball into an empty net to make it 1-0 for Chennaiyin.
The two-time champions could have doubled their lead before the break when Rafael Crivellaro unleashed a stinging effort from the edge of the box. However, his shot was saved by Amrinder and Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev blazed his attempt into the stands on the rebound.
Just when it looked like Chennaiyin were about to go into the break with a lead, Mumbai equalised to make it 1-1 at halftime. The equaliser came through Santana, who headed a Boumous corner into the net after Kaith had come to punch the ball but missed it.
Both sides looked to stamp their authority on the match at the start of the second period as they searched for a second goal. However, creating clear-cut chances were proving to be more difficult than in the first half.
The Islanders, though, eventually got their noses in front in the 75th minute when Rowllin Borges headed a longball into the danger area before Boumous used his head to flick the ball into the six-yard box for le Fondre to shoot first-time and make it 2-1 for Mumbai.
Chennaiyin responded with positive intent and nearly equalised four minutes later after Chhangte received the ball inside the box and hit it first-time to force Amrinder into making a save. The Marina Machans continued to push hard for a leveller and were involved in a goal-mouth scramble in injury-time.
They also failed to maximize the chance of scoring a free header from a corner with the last bit of action in the game. However, in the end Mumbai’s defence held firm to keep their lead intact and make it four wins in a row.
ISL Media Release