Mumbai City FC complete the double over Chennaiyin FC to reclaim top spot
Mumbai City FC registered their second comeback win over Chennaiyin FC this season in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Saturday. Petar Sliskovic broke the deadlock in the 34th minute before Lallianzuala Chhangte equalised four minutes later. Greg Stewart scored in the 57th minute, to make it 2-1 as the Islanders returned to the top of the table.
The hosts fielded an unchanged XI, while the visitors made one change in goal as Debjit Majumder was replaced by Samik Mitra. Abdenasser El Khayati was the major absentee for Chennaiyin FC, missing the game due to an injury.
Four minutes past the hour-mark, Mourtada Fall was caught on the ball before giving it straight to Julius Duker. The midfielder instantly played it through to Sliskovic, who calmly slotted the ball past Phurba Lachenpa as the Marina Machans broke the deadlock against the Islanders for the second time this season.
Fall redeemed himself for the error that led to the goal just four minutes later as he headed Ahmed Jahouh’s freekick, from near the halfway line, back across the face of goal on the edge of the box, where Chhangte was lurking. The winger cushioned the ball with his left foot before firing a volley past Mitra with his right.
The comeback was complete in the second half when Bipin Singh whipped a low cross in from the left before Jorge Diaz’s back-heel flick caught the Chennaiyin FC defence wrong-footed. The ball went straight into the path of a charging Stewart, who smashed it in from close range.
In the 80th minute, Mitra was at full stretch to deny Stewart a brace from a free-kick near the edge of the box. Chennaiyin FC knocked on the door on multiple occasions but were unable to create anything substantial.
The win takes Mumbai City FC back to the top of the league, two points clear of Hyderabad FC. The Islanders’ next challenge will come in the form of Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium on January 2, Monday. Chennaiyin FC stay in seventh place, still five points off the final playoff spot.