Mumbai City FC put on their best display this season with an impressive 3-2 win away from home against the reigning champions, Bengaluru FC. The victory also ended BFC’s 19-match unbeaten run at home. 3 goals were scored in the final 15 minutes on a night that will be remembered for a very long time. The game was majorly played on an end-to-end basis with both sides having chances to win the game.
The BFC goals came from an unfortunate own goal from Mato Grgic and a penalty from Sunil Chhetri whereas MCFC had three-goal scorers with Subhasish Bose, Diego Carlos and Rowllin Borges all scoring their first-ever goals for the club.
The highly anticipated encounter got underway with BFC having the majority of the possession in the MCFC half. It was only after the first 5 minutes that the away side got some share of the ball. Winger Bipin Singh looked deadly early on as his pace was causing a problem for BFC.
Ashique Kuruniyan made a good run in the 11th minute as he went through on goal but Sarthak Golui’s last-ditch tackle stopped him from taking a shot. MCFC immediately had a chance of their own as Rowllin’s impressive long ball found Bipin but his effort was blocked away for a corner.
From the resulting corner, MCFC took the lead courtesy Subhasish Bose’s header at the far post. A delightful cross from Larbi found Subhasish who headed the ball past Gurpreet to score against his former club. This was the first goal that BFC conceded at home this season.
MCFC were pressing well after the goal to keep BFC under pressure and not let them get back into the game straight away. There was a booking for Modou Sougou as he put in a very bad challenge on Raphael Augusto. The card was the first of many on an electrifying night.
BFC had a half-chance in the 25th minute as Erik Paartalu’s long ball found Udanta but he went a little off balance and his effort went way above the goal. Just a couple of minutes later, Sougou all on his own tested Gurpreet from a tight angle which was pushed away by Gupreet for a corner.
The home side slowly started creating more chances but were missing the final finishing touch. In the 34th minute, Rowllin was booked for a foul on Ashique. The game was battled out in the midfield with both sides trying to execute their plans. MCFC once again hit BFC on the counter but Larbi blazed away from 12-yards out to double the lead.
There were 3 quick bookings just before half-time with Ashique, Amrinder and Amine Chermiti going into the referee’s book. In the 3rd minute of stoppage time, Chermiti won a penalty after he was fouled by Albert Serran in the box. Up stepped, Larbi but his powerful effort was stopped by a diving Gurpreet to his right. The half-time score read 1-0 in MCFC’s favour.
The hosts made their first change at the break as Rahul Bheke replaced Nishu Kumar. BFC were enjoying major of the possession for the first 10 minutes of the second half but didn’t create any goal-scoring opportunity as the MCFC defence sat deep to give them any space.
In the 56th minute, Dimas Delgado went for a curling effort from about 25 yards but Amrinder was quick enough to react and keep it away for a corner. Just two minutes later, BFC found their equalizer through an own goal. The ball came off Mato’s shoulder and went past Amrinder in the 58th minute.
Jorge Costa made his first chance by bringing Raynier Fernandes on for Bipin in the 63rd minute. The game once again accelerated with the game level at 1-1. In the 68th minute, Chermiti smart work down the BFC touchline and created an opportunity for Larbi but his effort was deflected away for a corner.
Both the coaches made a change each as Harmanjot Khabra went off for Semboi Haokip and Diego Carlos came on for Sougou. MCFC had a good chance to take the lead as Pratik Chaudhari headed wide from a corner. Probably this was the sign of how the game was going to end.
In the next attack, Raynier’s sublime cross found Carlos in the box and the Brazilian made no mistake as he headed the ball past Gurpreet to give MCFC a 2-1 lead. Carlos made an impact just two minutes after coming off the bench on his return to action.
The bosses were left to think again and made changes at the same time. Ashique came off for Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Serge Kevyn replacing Chermiti. The next 5 minutes was all about some strong tackles, interceptions and blocks as MCFC were looking to hold onto the crucial lead away from home.
With just 2 normal minutes left on the clock, BFC were awarded a penalty after Chhetri’s header struck Sarthak’s arm. The BFC skipper made no mistake from the spot and made it 2-2 in 89th minute. The game seemed for another 2-2 draw for the Islanders who had done all the hard work on a tough night.
But, the drama was yet to end. In the last corner kick of the game, MCFC snatched a very late winner. Subhasish Bose headed the ball towards goal and Rowllin was there to put it past Gurpreet. The home crowd was silenced as Jorge Costa and his staff ran across to join the celebration.
A fantastic performance from the Islanders as they picked up 3 very crucial points on an important night. With this win, the boys now have 10 points from 8 games and move to the 6th spot. The Islanders are back in action with an away clash against Jamshedpur FC on 19th December.
BFC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Harmanjot Khabra, Albert Serran, Juanan, Nishu Kumar, Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado, Udanta Singh, Raphael Augusto, Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri
MCFC: Amrinder Singh, Sarthak Golui, Mato Grgic, Pratik Chaudhari, Subhasish Bose, Mohamed Larbi, Rowllin Borges, Paulo Machado, Bipin Singh, Modou Sougou, Amine Chermiti