Goncalves penalty rescues point for Chennaiyin against leaders Mumbai City
Mumbai City FC extended their unbeaten run to 12 matches when they drew 1-1 with Chennaiyin FC in Match 71 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. Bartholomew Ogbeche gave his side the lead but a goal from the spot gave the Marina Machans a crucial point against the league leaders.
- Bartholomew Ogbeche opened the scoring in the 21st minute.
- A penalty converted by Esmael Goncalves levelled the score in the 76th minute.
In what was a nervy start for Mumbai City, goalkeeper Amrinder Singh was tested early in the game. Lallianzuala Chhangte was on target but the effort was parried away in the 2nd minute. Two minutes later, Esmael Goncalves came close after bursting into the attacking third but the goalkeeper was sharp yet again with a low save.
The Islanders paved their way back into the game and almost broke the deadlock on a couple of occasions within the first 10 minutes of the game. In the fifth minute, Raynier Fernandes did well to find space in the Chennaiyin box but his effort from a Vignesh Dakshinamurthy cross didn’t produce the desired result. Five minutes later, Hugo Boumous played Rowllin Borges inside the box but the midfielder’s attempt was saved by the Chennaiyin goalkeeper.
Ogbeche then scored his fifth goal of the season to give Mumbai City the lead in the 21st minute. Bipin Singh received the ball from Borges in their attacking third and crossed it into the danger zone to be headed by the Nigerian striker into the back of the net.
The Marina Machans worked hard but were unable to breach the Islanders defence heading into the halftime break. They lacked the finishing touch even as Thoi Singh managed to create two goal-scoring chances to no avail.
Chennaiyin kept the pressure on their opponents in the second half but were unable to test Amrinder. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, Mumbai City almost doubled their lead after Amey Ranawade attempted a curling effort from distance which was inches off the near post.
A fumble from Amrinder in the 70th minute almost restored parity following a Reagan Singh freekick. The Marina Machans did at last get the equaliser in the 76th minute: Ahmed Jahouh was penalized for a foul on Chennaiyin striker Sylvestr and the resultant penalty was calmly converted by Goncalves to make it 1-1.
With the scores level, both sides tightened their defence. Substitute Adam le Fondre had a half-chance in injury time from outside the box but Vishal Kaith got down well to collect the ball. Mumbai City are now unbeaten in 12 matches which is a record-equalling feat. Previously only FC Goa had the distinction. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin moved up to fifth on the league table, having played two matches more than sixth-placed NorthEast United FC.
Hero of the Match: Amey Ranawade
Amey Ranawade was a livewire on the right flank for Mumbai City. The 22-year-old defender created one chance for the Islanders and defensively, he made three successful tackles, three blocks and two successful interceptions for his team.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award: Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Bipin Singh (Mumbai City FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: