Bipin Singh fires Mumbai City FC to crucial victory over SC East Bengal
Mumbai City FC moved into the top four after Bipin Singh inspired Mumbai City FC to a 1-0 win over SC East Bengal in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the PJN stadium in Margao, Goa on Tuesday.
Bipin (51’) scored the only goal of the match as the Islanders leapfrogged Kerala Blasters FC into the fourth spot ahead of their clash against league leaders Hyderabad FC on Wednesday.
Mumbai City FC got on the ball from the word go but they didn’t always control the match as SC East Bengal threatened on the counter-attack.
The Red and Gold brigade had the first chance of the game from a Fran Sota corner which was headed on target by Lalrinliana Hnamte but Mohammad Nawaz produced a smart save to deny the youngster in the 8th minute.
Mumbai City FC had their first sniff of the goal in the 16th minute when Igor Angulo got on the end of a long throw-in and shot from a tight angle. But he could only find the side netting.
Eleven minutes later, SC East Bengal opened up the Mumbai City FC defence with a flowing move that saw Mahesh Naorem Singh release Thongkhosiem Haokip through on goal but the forward lost his footing at the crucial juncture. The referee waved away any appeals for a penalty as Mumbai City FC escaped.
The Islanders remained dominant in the game but had few chances to show for it as SC East Bengal remained threatening on the break.
The game was deadlocked at 0-0 at the interval.
Mumbai City FC though managed to make the breakthrough just six minutes into the interval when Bipin who was allowed to run at the SC East Bengal defence found the bottom corner with a left-footed shot from outside the area.
The Islanders almost doubled their lead in the 72nd minute when Haokip in an attempt to clear a Mumbai City FC corner kick, almost ended up putting it in his own net.
SC East Bengal then missed a series of golden chances ten minutes from time. Nawaz denied the Red and Gold brigade with a save from close range before Sota volleyed the loose ball over the target.
Then it was the Islanders’ chance to squander an opportunity at the other end when Cassio Gabriel who was through on goal decided to chip the goalkeeper only to see it float over the target in the 83rd minute.
Mumbai City FC had to survive some testing set-pieces from SC East Bengal in the final exchanges but they held on to collect three vital points in the race for the semi-finals.
The defeat means SC East Bengal remained rooted to the bottom of the table. They have a chance to change that when they face tenth-placed NorthEast United FC in their next match on Monday.
Mumbai City FC are back in action on Saturday when they take on FC Goa in the late game which will be another must-win encounter for Des Buckingham’s side.