Mumbai City FC lost a crucial away encounter against Jamshedpur FC 2-0 after two second-half goals from the two subs Boris Singh (72') and David Grande (90+1') gave Jamshedpur FC three points.
The Islanders are now five points behind the table-topper ATK Mohun Bagan as their hopes of making it to the AFC Champions League now depends on the result of the Hyderabad FC-ATK Mohun Bagan match.
The home side made two changes with Isaac Vanmalsawma and Rehenesh TP in their starting eleven. Boss Sergio Lobera too made two changes as he brought in Jackichand Singh and Mandar Rao Dessai for Bipin Singh and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy.
MCFC played an uncharacteristic football in the first half. Despite more possession (60% in the first half), the Islanders only managed to get 1 shot that too went off target against three from the home side.
JFC had an early chance in the second min from a set-piece as Aitor Monroy's delivery didn't find any JFC attackers as the ball went out of the play. There was a half-chance in the tenth minute for MCFC from Jahouh's free-kick. Rowllin Borges who was the target man couldn't keep the ball in play to make something out of it.
The Islanders kept more possession in the next ten minutes, but more of it was on their own half as both sides failed to create any chances for an opener. Jamshedpur FC created more chances than the visitors in the next 10 minutes' play and came close on two occasions. Farukh Choudhary's attempt in the 22nd minute from the middle of the box was well off target. Nerijus Valskis, at the far post, failed to make the most of the delivery from Isaac Vanmalsawma in the 25th minute.
Both sides played for more possession in the remainder of the first half but not a single shot on target kept the score to nil-nil after the first 45 minutes of the play. Overall, it seemed both sides were happy going into the break at 0-0.
There was a half-time switch for Islanders as Bipin Singh replaced Jackichand Singh at the start of the second half.
MCFC had a sniff of a goal in the 48th min from Cy Goddard's free-kick that was aimed at Fall but the Senegalese didn't make the connection at all as the ball went out of play. Farukh had a chance inside the box in the 51st minute but a clearance from Amrinder denied the Red Miners the opening goal.
There was more attack from the visitors in the next 10 minutes followed by a series of corners in the 62nd minutes of the play. JFC showed great resistance in defense on all occasions to deny the Islanders the opener. Nerijus Valskis was the first player to get booked for showing dissent in the 66th minute.
Owen Coyle made the first change for his side as Boris Singh replaced Seiminlen Doungel in the 68th minute. The former India U-17 player didn't take long to make an impact as he managed to break the deadlock and get the first shot on target from both sides and the opening goal for the home side. Cy went to the referee's book in the 79th minute as the Islanders increased their frustration.
Mumbai City FC desperately wanted to make things happen and as a result, Sergio Lobera was forced to make three changes at the start of the final 10 minutes of the play. Bartholomew Ogbeche, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, and Mehtab Singh came in for Hernan Santana, Mandar Rao Dessai, and Rowllin Borges. JFC too made their second change of the match. David Grande was brought in for Nerijus Valskis.
It wasn't the best day in the office for the Islanders as nothing was going in their favour. Late changes didn't make any difference in the score. On the other hand, David Grande, another substitute for JFC went on to score in the injury time (90+1') and left the result to rest for the Islanders.
Mumbai City FC will face Odisha FC on February 24, but all eyes will be on the Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan clash. The result of that fixture will confirm which side will finish at the top of the points table after league games and play the AFC Champions League