Chermiti hands Mumbai their first-ever win against Kerala in Kochi

Mumbai City FC picked up their first-ever win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi after a 1-0 victory over Kerala Basters FC on Thursday. Amine Chermiti scored the only goal of the game eight minutes from full-time.

Mumbai shaded possession in the opening exchanges and had the better chances to show for it. Much to the disappointment of the Islanders, Chermiti had a penalty appeal turned down after being nudged from behind by Gianni Zuiverloon, while Mohamed Larbi failed to keep his header from a lobbed cross on target in the 10th minute.

The visitors finally got their first attempt on target in the 19th minute, courtesy Diego Carlos, who took on a shot from a crossing position on the right and forced Kerala’s goalkeeper Bilal Husain Khan into a save.

The biggest chances of the half, though, went the home side’s way just before half-time. A well-executed freekick was headed goalwards by Jairo Rodrigues in the 44th minute, but Amrinder Singh was alert to the danger and made the save. The subsequent corner saw Rodrigues get a touch on the ball and direct it to the far post for an unmarked Mouhamadou Gning, who failed to produce the finishing touch as the teams went into the break with the score still goalless.

The first big chance of the second period went to Mumbai after a Larbi cross from the left found substitute Modou Sougou in the penalty box. The striker managed to get his shot away but couldn’t keep his effort on target. Soon after, Jessel Carneiro tried to get Kerala in front with a shot from distance but his effort went just above the crossbar.

Both sides continued to push in search of the opener and the deadlock was finally broken eight minutes from full-time. Sauvik Chakrabarti bombed forward and squared the ball from the right for Chermiti to slot into the back of the net. 

Mumbai could have doubled their lead two minutes later after a misunderstanding between Bilal and Rodrigues led to substitute Serge Kevyn being presented with an opportunity to shoot into an open goal. Kevyn, though, failed to keep his composure and dragged his effort wide of the target as Kerala breathed a sigh of relief.

The final minutes of the contest saw Kerala throw everything at Mumbai and their pressure was nearly rewarded in the dying seconds of the match. Their talisman Bartholomew Ogbeche produced a stinging effort on goal from close range deep into injury-time. However, Amrinder got a strong palm onto the attempt as Mumbai weathered Kerala’s final onslaught to secure a win.

Hero of the Match – Amine Chermiti

Amine Chermiti was a big threat to Kerala Blasters throughout the match and scored the winner in the 82nd minute. Besides his goal, Chermiti created several chances for the Islanders and worked tirelessly for the team. He was adjudged the Hero of the Match.


Club Award – Mumbai City FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Diego Carlos

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Prasanth Karuthadathkuni

Hero of the Match – Amine Chermiti

Watch the match highlights here:

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