Second-half strikes from Bipin and le Fondre guide Mumbai City past Kerala Blasters
Mumbai City FC returned to winning ways in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 2-1 win against Kerala Blasters FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. Vicente Gomez opened the scoring for Kerala in the first half but Bipin Singh and Adam le Fondre scored for Mumbai City in the second to help the Islanders secure maximum points.
- Vicente Gomez headed home from a corner to give Kerala Blasters the lead in the first half.
- Goals from Bipin Singh and Adam le Fondre in the second half helped Mumbai City to three points.
Mumbai City started the match with great intensity and had two shots inside the opening 10 minutes. The first was a Raynier Fernandes attempt that flew over the crossbar and the second was a Hugo Boumous effort from range that was easily saved by the goalkeeper.
Le Fondre then had a wonderful chance to give the Islanders the lead in the 11th minute when he received the ball at his feet inside the box with only the goalkeeper to beat. Fortunately for Kerala, the Englishman put his shot wide of the target to the disappointment of his teammates.
Kerala then went up the other end and came close through Bakary Kone in the 13th minute after his header off a cross from the left had to be tipped over the crossbar by the goalkeeper. Le Fondre also had another big chance to score a couple of minutes later when Boumous set him up for an easy finish that he failed to execute with his left foot.
The Blasters suddenly came to life in the 25th minute and had a host of chances. Rahul KP could have put them in front had he managed to get more power on his shot off a cross from the left, while a spectacular shot from Jordan Murray had to be tipped behind for a corner.
However, Kerala couldn’t be stopped from scoring from the resulting corner after Gomez ghosted into the near post and produced an emphatic header to give his side the lead in the 27th minute. The southerners could have then doubled their lead a minute before the half hour mark, but Mumbai City’s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh got down in time to palm Murray’s shot on to the post.
The Islanders tried to muster an immediate response but Kerala’s defence weren’t prepared to give away their lead. Bipin saw his shot from range saved in the 31st minute, while a Boumous header into the ground from a cross was comfortably saved by Albino Gomes 10 minutes later. Murray had the final shot of the half for Kerala and forced a save out of Amrinder, who ensured the Blasters just took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Mumbai City began the second half on the front foot and equalised immediately after Cy Goddard cut in from the right and got a shot away. Goddard’s effort ended up taking a deflection and trickled to Bipin, who finished first-time at the near post to make it all square.
Kerala missed a chance to regain their lead in the 50th minute when Rahul squared the ball to Murray, whose shot went straight to the goalkeeper. Gomez also came close to putting the Blasters in front again in the 58th minute but his header off a cross from the right went agonizingly wide of the target.
Rahul then had a header of his saved by Amrinder on the hour mark and the Mumbai City custodian was called into action again during the resulting corner to deny another Kerala player from heading the ball into the net.
However, it was Mumbai City that took the lead after Costa Nhamoinesu was adjudged to have fouled inside the box. The referee swiftly pointed to the spot and le Fondre took the responsibility of taking the penalty before dispatching it with power in the bottom right corner.
The closing stages of the contest witnessed Kerala struggle to continue creating chances in threatening areas like they did in the first half. Mumbai City, on the other hand, had a few opportunities to extend their lead but failed to make the most of those chances. In the end, however, it counted for little as Mumbai City held on for the win.
Hero of the Match – Amrinder Singh
Amrinder Singh played a major role to keep Mumbai City in the game, especially when under the pump in the first half. He made nine saves over the course of the game besides also clearing the ball twice and executing six punches.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award – Mumbai City FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Cy Goddard (Mumbai City FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: