A determined performance by the Islanders got them 3 crucial points against the defending champions, Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. The Islanders registered their first ever win in Chennai in their fifth attempt thanks to Modou Sougou’s third strike of the campaign. It was the only goal that separated both the sides at the end of 90 minutes as Mumbai City FC moved on to 10 points in the table from 6 matches.
The game began on a slow note with both sides looking to take control of the game in the first 10 minutes or so. The home side got a couple of corners in quick succession but that was dealt with composure by the Islanders’ defence. In the first real chance of the game, Rafael Bastos’ clever pass set Modou Sougou through on goal. The striker took firm control of the ball before shooting with his left foot that forced a save from Karanjit Singh in goal, Sougou reacted the quickest and finished the chance with a cool head to put the Islanders ahead.
The goal gave the Islanders an added boost. Paulo Machado cut inside from the left and set it up for Rafael Bastos as he tried his luck from distance but the shot went past the goal. Andrea Orlandi skipped past a couple of defenders and went down in the box with the Chennaiyin FC players appealing for a penalty which was waived away by the referee. The first half ended with a one goal lead for the Islanders.
The pair of Rafael Bastos and Modou Sougou caused trouble for the Chennaiyin FC defence once again, a short pass found Sougou in the box before he tried to curl it past Karanjit who made a save to deny the Senegalese striker a second goal. Arnold Issoko’s run down the right got him behind the defence, he squared it for Modou Sougou but the striker’s first touch let him down with just Karanjit to beat for a two goal advantage.
Just past the hour mark, Sehnaj Singh had a good opportunity to score his first goal for the club but his header went narrowingly wide off the far post from a Paulo Machado corner. A couple of minutes later, Carlos Salom nearly got Chennaiyin FC level with his shot hitting the post and Thoi Singh’s rebound effort saved by Amrinder Singh. With 20 minutes to go in the game. Substitute Gregory Nelson did well to create an opportunity for fellow substitute Germanpreet Singh but his effort was blocked brilliantly by Joyner Lourenco.
Chennaiyin FC pushed forward in numbers that gave the Islanders an opportunity to exploit at the back. Arnold Issoko nearly did that with a dashing run from the left to beat a couple of defenders but his attempt at goal was a weak one.
The Islanders held on to keep their lead intact and pile up the misery on the defending champions, Chennaiyin FC who have picked up just a single point from their six games. Up next is a tricky away trip for the Islanders on November 9 as they take on NorthEast United who have shown good form in their first five matches.