Ten-man Mumbai register gritty draw against mighty Bengaluru

Mumbai City FC put in a spirited display to hold table toppers Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday. The Islanders played almost 40 minutes of the second-half with ten men after midfielder Sehnaj Singh was sent off due to a second booking.

The point helped Mumbai reclaim the second spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) table with 21 points from 11 matches. Bengaluru stay top with 24 points from 10 outings.

  • Udanta Singh gave Bengaluru the lead after 23 minutes.
  • Modou Sougou equalised for Mumbai just eight minutes later.
  • Mumbai’s Sehnaj Singh was sent off on the 51st minute.

The home team made a bright start and tested the Mumbai defence just six minutes into the match. Sunil Chhetri slid in a delightful pass to play Chencho Gyeltshen through inside the Mumbai box. The Bhutanese international's scuffed shot fizzed across the face of the goal and went out for a goal kick.

Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat sprung a surprise in the way he set his team up by using Rahul Bheke, who is primarily a right back, as left back and it took just 23 minutes for the punt to pay off. Bheke bombed down the sideline and put in a dangerous cross inside the Mumbai box. Udanta Singh timed his leap well to beat Lucian Goian in the air and buried his header past Amrinder Singh.

Mumbai offered little going forward in the first 30 minutes, but their first dangerous foray inside the Bengaluru box was enough to draw them level. Sougou met Arnold Issoko's cross with a diving header to make it 1-1 on the 31st minute.

The goal shifted the momentum of the match drastically and the visitors had two back-to-back opportunities to take the lead in a matter of minutes. First, Rafael Bastos' long ranger missed Gurpreet's goal by a whisker almost immediately after the goal.

Minutes later, Bastos was involved yet again, and this time, he forced a sharp save from Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu with a header.

The final 15 minutes of the first-half was largely dominated by the Islanders. However, the Blues could have regained their lead in the final seconds of added time. Chhetri wriggled past his marker and tried to blast one past Amrinder inside the near post. The Mumbai goalkeeper, however, was up to the task and made sure the teams went into the break level at 1-1.

Mumbai came flying off the blocks in the second-half and Sougou drew a big save from Gurpreet seconds after the restart. Bengaluru responded almost immediately with an effort of their own. Amrinder needed to be at his best to keep out Chhetri's drive from outside the box.

With both teams vying for control of the match, the match took an unprecedented turn on the 51st minute. Mumbai's Sehnaj Singh, who was booked in the first-half, received his marching order after receiving his second yellow for a cynical challenge on Dimas Delgado.

Despite going a man down, the Islanders’ kept chipping away at the Bengaluru defence and created a few good chances of their own. Bengaluru, on the other hand, tried their best to make their personnel advantage count and stretched the Mumbai defence with every opportunity they got. The Blues came close to restoring their lead through Erik Paartalu on the 74th minute, but his header only managed to rattle the crossbar.

The Mumbai defence soaked up the pressure well late in the match and held on for a 1-1 draw.

HERO OF THE MATCH – Arnold Issoko

Mumbai City FC’s Arnold Issoko helped the Islanders come back into the match with a brilliant assist to set up the equaliser and was a constant menace for the Bengaluru defence. His pace and tireless running provided Mumbai with a great outlet even after they were reduced to ten men. He is the Hero of the Match.


Club Award – Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City FC

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Modou Sougou

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Arnold Issoko

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Subhasish Bose

Hero of the Match – Arnold Issoko


Bengaluru will play host to ATK on December 13, while Mumbai will roll out the red carpet for Kerala Blasters FC on December 16.

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