Hyderabad FC end Mumbai City FC’s semi-final hopes, send Kerala Blasters through

Hyderabad FC ended Mumbai City FC’s title defence with a 2-1 win over the Islanders in the Hero Indian Super League match at the PJN stadium in Margao, Goa on Saturday, a result that sent Kerala Blasters FC into the semi-finals.

Goals from Rohit Danu (14’) and Joel Chianese (41’) gave a depleted Hyderabad FC a 2-0 lead in the first half which was halved by Mourtada Fall’s goal (76’) but Manuel Marquez’s men held on to pick up all three points.

Mumbai City FC came into the match knowing only a win would keep their semi-finals hopes alive but it was Hyderabad FC who started the match brightly.

Mumbai City FC soon found their feet and enjoyed a spell of possession around the ten-minute mark but suffered a bitter blow in the 14th minute when Juanan’s mistimed shot fell kindly for Danu who tapped home from close range Top Hyderabad FC in front.

Des Buckingham’s men upped the ante after falling behind but Hyderabad FC were able to hold onto their own going into the cooling break.

Amey Ranawade had a chance to equalise in the 35th minute when Vikram Partap Singh’s blocked shot fell to him but he could only find the side netting.

Hyderabad FC then doubled their lead in the 41st minute when Chianese controlled a lobbed pass to get behind the Mumbai City FC defence and coolly slot past Phurba Lachenpa in the Mumbai City FC goal.

With Hyderabad FC taking a 2-0 lead at the break, the Islanders had a mountain to climb to make the top four.

Mumbai City FC began well in the second half. To make the most of the momentum, Buckingham made a triple change, throwing in Brad Inman, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy and Diego Mauricio for Vinit Rai, Mandar Dessai and Igor Angulo.

Bipin Singh had a chance to half the deficit in the 63rd minute when he was set free on the left but he ended up blazing his shot over.

Fall then provided Mumbai City FC with fresh hope when he headed home a Cassio Gabriel free-kick in the 76th minute.

Seven minutes later, Hyderabad FC almost restored their two-goal cushion when Nikhil Poojary charged inside the box from the right to shoot on goal but Lachenpa made a sharp save to deny him.

Mumbai City FC threw the kitchen sink at Hyderabad FC with an aim to rescue the match but Hyderabad FC held firm to pick up the win that sent them second on the table at least temporarily.

Mumbai City FC finished the campaign in fifth spot as they missed out of the semi-finals.

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