Dangerous Mumbai sound warning to rest of the league with commanding win

Mumbai City FC marched on to another convincing victory in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 after beating Chennaiyin FC 2-0 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. Goals from Raynier Fernandes and Modou Sougou either side of the break propelled the Islanders to second place in the table. As for the Marina Machans, they stay in eighth place with only five points on the board.

  • Fernandes gave Mumbai the lead in the 27th minute.
  • Sougou hit the crossbar in first-half stoppage time before making amends by giving Mumbai a two-goal cushion in the 55th minute.
  • Andrea Orlandi also hit the crossbar late in the tie.

The defending champions handed a first start to Tondonba Singh in one of three changes to the side that lost at home to ATK. The Islanders, on the other hand, brought in midfielder Fernandes to add to their attacking options further up the pitch.

However, despite the changes, the match lacked urgency in the first quarter with neither team able to carve open the other’s defence. Lucian Goian and Arnold Issoko both had speculative attempts on goal early in the first-half, but neither of those shots forced Sanjiban Ghosh into a save.

Mumbai finally found the cutting-edge required to take the lead just shy of the half-hour mark. Rafael Bastos skipped past a couple of challenges and found Fernandes unmarked on the edge of the Chennaiyin box. Fernandes made no mistake and slotted home calmly into the bottom corner.

Chennaiyin responded with a couple of dangerous attacks led by Raphael Augusto, but the Brazilian’s inch-perfect passes forward were not converted into a goal after some inaccurate finishing, first by Carlos Salom and then by the enthusiastic Thoi Singh.

The Islanders had a late chance to double their lead in first-half stoppage time when Sougou was put through on goal by a lapse Mailson Alves clearance. The striker timed his finish to perfection, but the crossbar rescued the visitors, saving them from going two down at halftime.

Mumbai, however, doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second period thanks to a surging Bastos run from inside his own half. The midfielder was unlucky to see his shot blocked by the Chennaiyin defence, but the ricochet fell kindly to Sougou, who headed in from 10 yards out.

The visitors kept on going and had a few half-chances to pull one back, but wayward finishing meant that Mumbai’s two-goal lead remained intact. Second half substitute, Orlandi had a smart shot saved by a diving Amrinder Singh in the Mumbai goal to add to the visitors’ growing frustration.

The home side dropped deeper and deeper, allowing Chennaiyin to dictate the play as the match headed towards fulltime. Orlandi again, found himself with space to work with inside the Mumbai penalty box. His goal-bound effort, however, was blocked on its way by Fernandes.

The Spaniard had made a difference since coming on and could have pulled at least one back for the visitors, when his well-struck shot bounced off Amrinder’s hand and hit the crossbar. The rebound was headed into an empty goal by Thoi, but the winger was adjudged offside.

Hero of the Match - Modou Sougou

The Senegalese striker put in an all-action display, leading the Islanders attack from the front and capping off an impressive display with a goal. Sougou could have had a brace but was unfortunate to see one of his shots hit the crossbar, nevertheless, Jorge Costa will be pleased with him.

MATCH AWARDS

Club Award- Mumbai City FC

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Amrinder Singh

DHL Winning Pass of the Match- Rafael Bastos

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Raynier Fernandes

Hero of the Match – Modou Sougou

WHAT’S NEXT?

Mumbai City FC will next travel to the home of Bengaluru FC for a mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash on Sunday. Chennaiyin FC, on the other hand, have more than a week to prepare for their clash at home against Delhi Dynamos FC on December 15th.

Watch the match highlights here

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