Costa’s stunner earns Mumbai a late point against Chennaiyin
Chennaiyin FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Mumbai City FC in their Hero Indian Super League 2016 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday evening. Jeje Lalpekhlua put the defending champions ahead six minutes into the second period before Leo Costa produced a sublime finish from about 30 yards in the 88th minute to silence more than 22,000 passionate home fans.
Jerry Lalrinzuala registered the hosts’ first shot on target with an effort from distance in the fifth minute that was straight at Albino Gomes in Mumbai’s goal. Chennai’s Maurizio Peluso was next to test Gomes 17 minutes later courtesy of a well-executed free-kick from a dangerous area that forced Mumbai’s shot-stopper into a save.
Peluso had another shot on goal in the 31st minute after picking up the ball on Chennai’s left flank before cutting infield and shooting at goal. This time, however, the Italian’s attempt was wide of the target and failed to test Gomes in goal.
Mumbai’s first attempt came nine minutes before half-time after Diego Forlan found the ball at his feet with time and space to run into. The Uruguayan’s attempted shot from range sailed fractions over the crossbar to the relief of Chennai’s custodian Duwayne Kerr as the sides went in for the half-time interval having failed to break the deadlock.
The first chance of the second period also went Chennai’s way when a deflected Raphael Augusto shot from range went behind for a corner. Jeje rose highest at the near post in the 51st minute from the resulting corner to head Peluso’s corner between Gomes’ legs and give his side a 1-0 lead.
Jeje could have made it 2-0 five minutes later as he tried to guide a Lalrinzuala cross beyond Gomes in goal. The 25-year-old though couldn’t keep his shot on target as the ball went behind for a goal-kick. A well-timed tackle by Lucian Goian denied Chennaiyin from doubling their lead again in the 64th minute after another Lalrinzuala cross was almost met cleanly by Jeje on the cusp of the six-yard box.
Cafu registered the visitors’ first attempt of the second half in the 67th minute with a left-footed shot from outside the box that flew into Kerr’s grateful arms. The hosts should have put the result beyond dispute in the 71st minute when Dudu found himself in on goal with just the keeper to beat. Gomes was quick off his line though to deny the Nigerian and keep his side in the game.
Augusto had another deflected shot from far out six minutes before full-time, which nearly dipped into Mumbai’s goal. The equaliser came four minutes later thanks to a sensational left-footed strike by Costa from distance that hit inside of the post before rippling the back of the net to make it 1-1.
Mumbai pushed forward in search of a winner in the closing stages of the match with momentum on their side. The Super Machans kept shape, however, and even tried to get forward themselves. But at the final whistle it ended all square as Mumbai picked up their first ever point against Chennai.
Club award: Shared by both clubs
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Lucian Goian
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Maurizio Peluso
Maruti Suzuki Swift Moment of the Match: Leo Costa
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Sena Ralte
Hero of the Match: Jeje Lalpekhlua