Photo Credit: ISL Media Twitter
ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City FC edge past Chennaiyin FC
The Islanders defeated the Marina Machans to go top of the table. Mumbai City FC defeated Chennaiyin FC by 2-1 on Wednesday night at the GMC Bambolim Athletic Stadium in Goa. Chennaiyin took the initial lead but Mumbai City came from behind to win the match.
Chennaiyin were on the attack right from the start, earning two chances in the first three minutes itself. A corner was flicked by Enes Sipovic towards Jakub Sylvestr, but the latter missed it from close range. This was followed by Lallianzuala Chhangte's attempt which was unable to test custodian Amrinder Singh.
The Islanders soon gained their feet and in the 25th minute Hugo Boumous created a big chance when he played a through ball to Le Fondre, who, however, couldn't test the keeper Vishal Kaith, and Bipin Singh dragged his shot wide on the rebound.
Chennaiyin FC took the lead in the 40th minute when Chhangte got past the defence and cut in the ball from the byline to Jakub Sylvestr, who tapped the ball home.
Mumbai City however equalized just before half-time, when a Boumous corner found Hernan Santana, who headed it into the back of the net.
The hosts took the lead in the 75th minute when a long ball from Rowllin Borges was headed to le Fondre by Boumous, who finished it the first time.
Chhangte had a chance to equalize four minutes later, but the Indian winger couldn't get past Amrinder Singh on the occasion. They failed to come any closer to find the equalizer.
Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera was proud of his team's attitude, "We played against a very good team. I think Chennaiyin is a very competitive team. It is a good team with and without the ball. It wasn’t easy for us today and I am very proud of the attitude of my players. We suffered a lot during some periods of the second half… and I am very happy with three points and victory against a very good team,” Lobera said.
The coach identified the opening minutes as an area for the team to improve, "We always need to improve… it’s good to improve while winning. In the first minutes [of tonight’s game] we could have played better.
…Our mistake was to give them the opportunities [early on] but I am happy with the performance of the team,” he said.
When asked if he would have settled for a draw, he said, "I always want to win. It’s very important that my players keep believing [that they can win till the end]. Finally, the result is three points, which is very important, and I always want to win.”
Lobera feels that the win over Chennaiyin could be a psychological boost and he explained why. “It’s an important psychological victory because we worked a lot and had played a game only three days ago. It wasn’t easy to win the game [tonight] and I am very happy with this situation,” the 43-year-old said.
Chennaiyin FC head coach Csaba Laszlo praised the way his team played despite the loss, "I am proud of how my boys played football today. I think this was one of the best games in the Hero ISL till now and it was entertaining. But we suffered a defeat, which was painful. We brought a lot of effort from players and coaches here [in Bambolim],” he said.