Indian Super League (ISL) outfit, Mumbai City FC, made an impressive start to the 2023-24 season with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Mohammedan SC in their opening fixture of the 2023 Durand Cup at Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday.

The opening half was filled with frantic action as the two teams collectively netted four goals in the initial forty-five minutes. However, it was Mumbai City FC who had the upper hand in the game from the very beginning over the home side.

Rostyn Griffiths (12’), Jorge Pereyra Diaz (24’), and Lallianzuala Chhangte (35’) got their names on the scoresheet for the Islanders, while David Lalhlansanga (42') scored the solitary goal for Mohammedan SC.

The ISL winners kick-started the new season from where they left off in the previous season, and their head coach, Des Buckingham, fielded a strong lineup against the Black Panthers, who troubled them significantly in the last Durand Cup.
Australian defender Griffiths opened the scoring for the Islanders with a thumping header from a Greg Stewart corner.

Buckingham’s men piled up more pressure after their opening goal, and they were soon rewarded with another goal through Pereyra Diaz, who tapped it in from a rebound after the Mohammedan keeper failed to grab Alberto Noguera’s initial effort.

Minutes later, Bipin Singh almost added his name to the scoresheet from Chhangte’s cross, but the opposition keeper somehow managed to hold on to it. However, the Black Panthers couldn’t hold the Islanders back for long, as Chhangte notched the third goal for his side from Bipin’s cross.

Nevertheless, the Kolkata side tried to get back in the match, and they did pull one back before half-time when skipper Samad Ali Mallick delivered a lovely cross to David, and the forward made no mistake in heading it into the net.

Both teams aimed to increase their goal tally in the second half. Despite creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities, they were unable to find the back of the net. Buckingham brought in Yoëll van Nieff, who made his debut donning MCFC colours at the hour-mark. The Dutchman settled in nicely alongside Apuia for the final thirty minutes.

Bipin had the best opportunity in the second half when he was put through on goal by Vikram Pratap Singh, but the former rattled the woodwork from close range.

Mumbai City FC will next face Jamshedpur FC at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Tuesday.