Mumbai City FC seal maiden semis berth after 2-0 win over Chennai
Mumbai City FC entered the semi-finals of the Hero Indian Super League for the first time as they eased past Chennaiyin FC 2-0 in front of almost 8,000 spectators at the Mumbai Football Arena on Wednesday night. Matias Defederico scored in the 32nd minute, while Krisztian Vadocz hit the back of the net in the 60th minute to ensure a smooth passage for the Mumbaikars into the semis.
The game took some time to come into life as both teams began with short exchanges without creating any real opportunities. The very first chance of the game came Mumbai’s way in the 13th minute when Diego Forlan’s shot from outside the box was deflected behind. The resulting short corner saw the first shot on target as Defederico drilled his shot into the penalty area and Sunil Chhetri’s clever back-flick was grabbed by Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.
Mumbai kept seeing more of the ball and made their pressure count in the 32nd minute when Chhetri played in a lovely ball from the left and Defederico was at hand in the box to smash home the 100th goal of Hero ISL 2016 and Mumbai’s opener.
Raphael Augusto tried his luck from distance in the 37th minute as Chennaiyin went for a quick response but his shot was straight at goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, who caught the ball comfortably. As half time approached, chances were few and far between, barring Forlan’s free-kick that took a slight deflection off the wall and was parried away by a diving Karanjit. The teams went into half time with the score-line 1-0 in Mumbai’s favour.
The second half started off much like the first, with no clear-cut chances for either team till the 60th minute when Forlan looped in a cross from the right and found Vadocz, who chested the ball down and volleyed a belter into the back of the net to double Mumbai’s advantage.
Chennaiyin tried really hard to get back into the game but failed to create any decisive chances. Chhetri, at the other end, then had a double chance within the span of a minute. First he was on his way towards the goal after Forlan put in a clever pass over Bernard Mendy from the left in the 79th minute but the Indian blasted his shot over as the Frenchman closed in with a last-ditch tackle. The very next minute, Chettri was again through from the left, and although this time he had more time to shoot, he only managed to blaze his shot over goal one more time.
Chennaiyin then had a chance in the 85th minute as Davide Succi tried a shot from just outside the box but it went agonisingly over the crossbar. Mumbai then wasted a great chance to go 3-0 up in the 89th minute when Forlan put the ball on a plate for Thiago Cunha from the right. But Cunha was denied by Karanjit, who managed to get a strong hand to the ball. That turned out to be the last chance of the match as it ended 2-0 in favour of Mumbai. With the win, they also became the first team to qualify for the semis this season.
Club award: Mumbai City FC
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Bernard Mendy
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Sunil Chhetri
Maruti Suzuki Swift Moment of the Match: Matias Defederico
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Sena Ralte
Hero of the Match: Krisztian Vadocz