Mumbai City FC strengthened their stranglehold at the summit of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 standings after a slender 1-0 win over SC East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Friday. Mourtada Fall scored the game’s only goal in the first half.
Mumbai City started brightly with Adam le Fondre dragging an effort from outside the box wide of the target in the 3rd minute. They had another attempt from outside the box nine minutes later and on this occasion, Rowllin Borges’ shot needed to be saved by Debjit Majumder in goal.
Debjit was busy in the opening stages and almost gifted Mumbai City the lead in the 14th minute when the Indian goalkeeper fumbled the ball while attempting to collect a cross. Hugo Boumous was on the spot to make the most of the lapse but he blazed his attempt over the crossbar to the relief of Debjit.
Mumbai City eventually took the lead in the 27th minute after a half-cleared corner fell for Boumous outside the box. Boumous went on to produce a quality cross into the box and Fall did the rest with a well-placed header beyond the goalkeeper.
SC East Bengal then registered their first attempt on target in the 35th minute when a freekick into the box was guided goalwards by Anthony Pilkington as Amrinder Singh made an easy save. The Islanders should have doubled their lead in first half injury time after Bipin Singh found le Fondre with a pinpoint cross into the box from the left. However, the Englishman put his header wide of the target as SC East Bengal breathed a sigh of relief and went into the break trailing by a goal.
Both teams took some time to get going in the second period but when the first chance of the half came, it went to goal-scorer Fall in the 57th minute. In similar fashion to Mumbai City’s first goal, Ahmed Jahouh played a ball into the box following a clearance from a corner by SC East Bengal. However, Fall struggled to sort out his feet this time around and ended up producing a tame effort that was comfortably saved by Debjit.
The Kolkata club nearly scored an equaliser seven minutes later when Daniel Fox’s glancing header from a corner at the near post went inches wide of goal. SC East Bengal were seeing more of the ball and began to push harder for an equaliser as the half wore on.
The Islanders, in fact, uncharacteristically found it hard to get on the ball in the final 10 minutes of regulation time. Scott Neville made an adventurous run forward and forced Amrinder into a save in the 85th minute as SC East Bengal pushed more bodies into the opposition half. They had another huge opportunity to level the score two minutes later but Harmanpreet Singh’s unmarked header from an Aaron Joshua Holloway cross failed to test the goalkeeper.
SC East Bengal continued to pile on the pressure in injury time by whipping dangerous crosses into the box. However, Mumbai City held their nerve and defended resolutely to register yet another clean sheet and secure maximum points.
ISL Media Release