Mumbai City FC secured a 2-1 victory over the Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) to end their unbeaten streak in this league in a feisty clash between the two Indian Super League (ISL) heavyweights at the Mumbai Football Arena on Wednesday.

In a match that saw seven sending-offs, an equaliser by Greg Stewart in the 44th minute coupled with the winner by Bipin Singh in the 73rd minute ensured that the Islanders got past the Mariners to neutralise the opening strike by their Australian striker Jason Cummings.

This fixture always promised an entertaining, end-to-end encounter, and Juan Ferrando and his men began the game on the front foot, capitalising on Mumbai City FC fullback Akash Mishra being shown the red card due to a challenge on Manvir Singh in the 13th minute. The Mariners used this numerical advantage to their favour, with Liston Colaco sprinting ahead to receive a pass by Subhasish Bose on the left flank before squaring up an assist for Cummings, who comfortably slotted the ball into the back of the net by getting past Rostyn Griffiths in the 25th minute.

The home side got their act together though, and they benefited with livewire winger Bipin Singh operating in advanced positions on the left wing. Bipin, 28, who had scored a 90th-minute winner for the Islanders in the ISL 2020-21 final against the same opponents, lobbed in an insanely impressive cross for Greg Stewart on the far post, who nodded the ball past Vishal Kaith to help Petr Kratky’s side head into the half-time break on level terms.

The Mariners wore a slightly disoriented look in the second essay of the game though, with Asish Rai first getting shown the red card for his foul on Jorge Pereyra Diaz in the 54th minute before a similar challenge by Bose and the subsequent reaction by the Colaco led to the visitors getting down to nine men.

This allowed Mumbai City FC forwards greater freedom, and Bipin began making the most of it by playing in various vacant spaces across the frontline. On one such occasion, he was in control of the ball on the right flank and pulled off a fantastic shot from outside of his boot that took the deflection off Anirudh Thapa and ended up with the ball getting drilled into the back of the net in the 73rd minute. Mumbai City FC began holding the upper hand in the proceedings after that, with Stewart showing some fleet footwork inside the 18-yard box but was shown a second yellow card following a quick turn of events amidst a tight situation in the penalty area in the 88th minute.

The home side managed to maintain the lead; however, they suffered another blow in the aftermath of the proceedings. Vikram Pratap Singh received his second yellow card and was sent off from the game. Furthermore, Mumbai City FC captain Rahul Bheke and Mohun Bagan SG defender Hector Yuste were also shown direct red cards for engaging in heated arguments after the final whistle.

Regardless, Kratky and his side took the game to the Mohun Bagan Super Giant despite losing Akash Mishra early on in the game, and they reaped the rewards for the same with the new head coach bagging his first ISL victory after three games.

Key Performer of the Match

Bipin Singh (Mumbai City FC)

Bipin was a menace for the Mohun Bagan Super Giant backline tonight, completing all but one of his 21 passes, recording an astounding 95% accuracy. He notched a goal and an assist each, and made two clearances, as he capped off an all-round performance to seal a crucial win for his team.

What’s next for both teams?

Mumbai City FC will now travel to Kochi to take on Kerala Blasters FC on December 24, whereas the Mohun Bagan Super Giant will next host FC Goa on December 23.

Brief Scores

Mumbai City FC 2 (Greg Stewart 44’, Bipin Singh 73’) – 1 Mohun Bagan Super Giant (Jason Cummings 25’)

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