MATCH REPORT: CHENNAIYIN FC 1 - 0 MUMBAI CITY FC
Mumbai City FC brought the curtains to the 2017-18 Hero ISL campaign with a 1-0 defeat away to Chennaiyin FC. With the loss, we finish at 7th and will now have to go play the qualifiers of the newly ventured Hero Super Cup, that includes the ISL and I-League teams. Chennaiyin FC finish second in the league stage of the ISL 2017-18 courtesy Rene Mihelic’s 67th minute penalty.
The first-half of the match was completely seized by the Chennaiyin FC attack and Mumbai City FC's custodian, Arindam Bhattacharja. Right from the start, Chennai played some offensive football. Nigerian, Jude Nworuh made his presence felt in the 8th minute of the match when he made an attacking inside into the box but Arindam was there to take care of the danger.
The course of attack and the defiance between the two didn't stop there. In the 12th minute of the first-half, Jude once again put pressure on Mumbai City FC's keeper. A bit of pushing in the process was soon followed by the referee's whistle for a foul on the custodian.
Chennaiyin FC ambush on the Islanders’ half continued in the game's 17th minute. A deflected shot went straight to Rene Mihelic at the edge of the box, who timed that hit well, but it went off-target. The battle of keeping the possession was on, and in the 22nd minute, Leo Costa was booked for elbowing Rene Mihelic. That booking didn't distract the birthday boy, Leo Costa, as he almost put Mumbai ahead with a shot that sailed wide of the upright on the left.
Both sides had their best chance to strike first. While Mumbai City focussed more towards keeping hold of the ball, it was Chennaiyin who were left gutted with a lot of close chances.
Another key moment of the match came in the 37th minute, a miss-hit clearance by Raju Gaikwad went straight to Jude Nworuh, who took his shot on target. The ball brushed the inside thigh of Arindam and ended up hitting the far end of the pole, and was soon cleared away by the defender. Both teams went level at the break with the score at 0-0.
The second-half perhaps had a slow start with both teams did nothing fancy in the first 10 minutes of the half. Then came the changes. In order to bring more fresh legs into the game, Alexandre Guimaraes brought the energetic Achille Emana along with Davinder Singh in place of Zakeer Mundampara and Marcio Rozario. Chennaiyin too made one change, as Bikramjit Singh was replaced by Anirudh Thapa.
Chennaiyin FC got the moment that they were waiting for in the game's 65th minute when the referee found Wadoo guilty of a rash challenge inside the box on their skipper Jaime Gavilan. A penalty was awarded to the host. Despite a great effort by Arindam who held his ground, Rene made no mistake and gave his team a 1-0 lead.
Mumbai City FC took some desperate steps to get going & search for an equalizer. In the 73rd minute, Wadoo hurt his shoulder as he had a collision with Bodo. He was unable to continue & had to be taken off. Down and almost out of the match, The Islanders were not ready to give up. Achille Emana had one of the best opportunities to convert a chance, but he lost control of the ball with a heavy touch that was deflected well by the Chennaiyin custodian.
In the 90th minute of the match, once again Emana was on the spotlight. He blasted a free-kick but that went straight to the keeper. The Islanders were left furious at the game's last moment as Emana headed one to Everton Santos who chipped it over the keeper, with Balwant finishing it only to see the linesman raise his offside flag.
The Islanders really were not up to the mark with their attack in their last match of the season. There were many positives that Guimaraes can take from this season for the team. But the team's campaign was left hanging with multiple defeats at home. The action will resume for the Islanders in the Hero Super Cup soon in the qualifiers. Till then, keep supporting us!