Mumbai City FC clashed with the defending champions, Chennaiyin FC, at the Mumbai Football Arena in the 46th match of ISL 2016. Both teams had much on the line as the visitors needed a win to play in the playoffs and Mumbai wanted to secure their berth in the semi-finals.
Chennaiyin FC hadn’t seen a defeat in their last two matches and was confident to cross the finish line first, however, nobody can forget Mumbai’s 5-0 win over Kerala Blasters and the team was bound to perform this time, for the home crowd.
Not many can deny Chennai’s ability to win matches as they are the defending champions but in ISL 2016 season, the team has struggled to maintain its momentum and that continued in this game too.
The home side was quick to adopt attacking strategies during the initial moments of the match and as a result, they got two opportunities at the goal in the 13th and 14th minute. Defederico came inside from the left and passed the ball to Chhetri, who in turn sets up Forlan. However, the shot took a deflection and went wide. From the resulting flag-kick, Defederico again found Chhetri in front of goal and the latter flicked it with everything he had but the ball was kept out by Karanjit, much to opposition’s relief.
The duo of Chhetri and Defederico was continuously attacking Chennaiyin post but the breakthrough came just after the half-hour mark and it is not hard to judge that who was the scorer.
Chhetri and Vadocz were dodging Chennai’s players and the latter reached inside the opposition’s box. His next pass took a deflection and the ball endowed its presence to Defederico who faced no problem while sending the ball beyond Karanjit.
Just before the second half, Forlan tried to take double the lead but Karanjit was somehow able to palm the ball and the first half ended at 1-0 in Mumbai City FC’s favor.
Chennaiyin FC saw a lot of ball during the first fifteen minutes of the second half and the team was vigorously attacking the hosts. However, none of their attempts were enough to threaten Mumbai City FC.
The home crowd got another chance to cheer for their team in the 60th minute when Chhetri shot a long cross towards Forlan and the latter picked it up and passed it towards Vadocz who was on the edge of the box. The former Osasuna player received it with a touch and smashed it into Chennaiyin FC’s post, taking his team closer to a semi-final berth in ISL 2016.
The home team was not satisfied with a lead of 2-0 and continued to attack Chennaiyin FC’s defence. In the 80th minute, Chettri had a chance to register his name in the scoresheet but his effort went into the orbit. In the very same minute, Forlan again played for Chettri but the striker’s shot went above the goal post and straight into the stands.
Chennai also tried to decrease the difference and attacked desperately in the nick of the match but their long shots were not enough to cross the finish line.
The match ended with an embarrassing defeat for the defending champions and Mumbai City FC rode on their ‘Chariot of Victory’ by winning this game by 2-0.
24 November 2016