Mumbai City FC displayed top performance as they put past five against Rajasthan United FC and consolidated their position at the top in their Group B fixture on Monday. The goals came from Greg Stewart (10’), Lallianzuala Chhangte (18’), Mehtab Singh (36’), Ahmed Jahouh (63’), Vikram (90+2’).
The Islanders started getting on the front foot from the get-go with their high-intensity pressing and found their first big chance in the first five minutes of the game as Jorge Diaz missed a sitter from a Bipin Singh cross through an Ahmed Jahouh indirect free-kick. Minutes later, the Argentine made up for his missed chance through a line-breaking pass to Greg Stewart, who converted from inside the box from a 1v1 situation to give his side the lead.
A sloppy hold on the ball by Rajasthan United FC led to Mumbai City FC gaining more ground over them as Des Buckingham’s men kept punishing their errors. The chances kept coming for the Islanders and Lallianzuala Chhangte added a second within no time after cutting in from the left and curling a strike that deflected the Rajasthan United FC defender and got past the keeper.
In the 35th minute, the Islanders magnificent performance was rewarded with the third goal after Mehtab Singh, who was left unmarked converted from a Greg Stewart corner, with the Scot finding the defender in style, coming right out of a training ground routine. It was a subdued first half for Pushpendur Kundu’s men as Mumbai City FC were in the commanding position throughout the first 45 minutes.
Rajasthan United FC had minimal chances in the second half but they couldn’t make it count with the Islanders’ defence standing strong. Ahmed Jahouh added a fourth to the goalscoring sheet with a powerful strike from the penalty spot after Vikram Singh was brought down inside the box in the 63rd minute.
No sooner than five minutes into the game, Gyamar Nikum burst onto the scene and pulled one back for his side from the bench. In what was his first involvement of the match, Nikum got in between two MCFC defenders inside the box and pulled one into the far post, beating custodian Lachenpa to reduce their deficit to three goals.
Things took an ugly turn in the 76th minute when a free-kick from Martin led keeper Phurba Lachenpa to have a mid-air collision with a Rajasthan United FC player, with the latter subsequently being substituted for Mohammad Nawaz. Vikram Partap Singh added the fifth and the final goal of the game in additional time after making a beautiful run in behind the defenders and slotting it past the keeper with clean composure.
The former Hero ISL champions face East Bengal in their final group stage match on Saturday while Rajasthan United FC battle it out with Indian Navy FT two days later.
Odisha FC extend their winning streak, beat Sudeva Delhi 3-0
Odisha FC kept their winning streak intact, making it three wins out of three games after a comfortable 3-0 win over Sudeva Delhi FC in their Group D fixture at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Monday. Three first-half goals including a brace from Saul Crespo (19’, 38’) and a third from Jerry Mawihmingthanga (40’) earned Odisha FC their third consecutive win and clean sheet, earning them the ticket to the knockout stages of the Durand Cup.
The Kalinga Warriors were the better team right from the start of the match, with their first big chance coming through Jerry Mawihmingthanga who whipped in a cross for Diego Mauricio but the striker’s header was saved by keeper Kabir Kohli from point-blank range.
Moments later, Saul Crespo reaped rewards and took the lead for his side as he placed himself between the defenders to find the cross from Sahil Panwar and headed home the opener of the night. Sudeva Delhi got themselves on the move after a Narender Gahlot misplaced pass found their midfielders on a run after some stunning technique but the Odisha FC defence remained resolute and blocked the shot right away.
Saul Crespo found himself on the scoresheet again with yet another header as he remained in between the defender’s lines to double his side’s lead from a Raynier Fernandes cross. Odisha FC showed their hunger for more goals as Jerry Mawihmingthanga struck the third goal of the match with a simple tap-in from a rebound save by Kabir Kohli to make it 3-0.
Josep Gombau’s men continued to dominate the play in the second half by creating several attacking outlets. Nandakumar Sekar missed a great chance to convert from the edge of the goal after a cross Raynier cut past two defenders and pelted one right across the far post. Sudeva Delhi got their first big chance of the game through Akbar who swerved a powerful one in from the left flank but the Odisha FC shot-stopper Ralte rose to the occasion and tipped over Akbar’s shot.
The attacking trio of Odisha showed strong connection as the side kept creeping in behind the defence with several chances but failed to convert as two successive chances by Pedro and Isaac couldn’t find the back of the net. Sudeva Delhi had more of the ball in the ending moments of the game but they couldn’t exploit their chances with the presence of an unshakeable Odisha FC defence.
Josep Gombau’s men play their final game of the group stage against Army Green on September 4 while Sudeva Delhi FC will lock horns with NorthEast United FC two days earlier.