Mumbai City FC equalled table toppers Odisha FC (31 points each) with a 2-0 victory, thanks to a brace by substitute Bipin Singh against Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 tonight. The Juggernauts continue to hold the first place due to their superior goal difference (+14), as compared to Mumbai City FC (+12).

Finding the back of the net against your former team is a challenge that most professional players want to tick away at least once in their career.

Tonight, both Farukh Choudhary and Lallianzuala Chhangte came touchingly close to wrapping up the same in either halves of the game.

Farukh, searching his second goal of the season, spotted a fantastic opportunity when Phurba Lachenpa advanced from his position to halt an onrushing Chennaiyin FC attack at the brink of the halftime whistle.

The attacker launched a sublime effort targeting the top corner of the net, but the Islanders’ fullback Akash Mishra rushed to the goal-line to make a last-ditch headed clearance that kept Mumbai City FC at bay going into the break.

Later in the second half, Lazar Ćirković fouled Mumbai City FC defender Thaer Krouma inside the box to hand a spot-kick to the visitors. Chhangte stepped up for the duties from 12 yards out, but tumbled terribly, launching an effort that flew straight into the stands, not even troubling Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.

However, just as it appeared that the Islanders might be out of ideas, Petr Kratky unleashed his trump card Bipin Singh off the bench, and the winger made all the inference in the final 20-odd minutes.

Displaying his skills, he caught the Marina Machans completely off guard, Bipin initiated a solo effort from left side of the box with the ball finding its way past Majumder pretty comfortably to open the scoring in the 71st minute.

That opened the gateway for the Islanders further, with Bipin now hitting strongly on the counter, exploiting the spaces left vacant by Chennaiyin FC in the back.

As the game entered added time of the second half, he received a pass by their new Spanish recruit Iker Guarrotxena on the move, before drilling it into the bottom right corner to seal the game in their favour in all ways possible.

Key Performer of the Match

Bipin Singh (Mumbai City FC)

Bipin Singh demonstrated the importance of having a strong bench for any team, completing all six of his passes, but most importantly, optimising the goal-scoring chances coming his way and converting them pretty conveniently amidst a crunch phase in the game to come out clutch and clinch three points for his team.

What’s next for both teams?

Chennaiyin FC will return to ISL action on February 26, whereas Mumbai City FC’s next clash will be against FC Goa on February 28.

Brief Scores

Mumbai City FC 2 (Bipin Singh 71’, 90+1’) - 0 Chennaiyin FC

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