Mumbai City FC beat Jamshedpur 4-2 in an enthralling 6-goal thriller, on Friday, at the Fatorda. Cassio Gabriel, Bipin Singh, Igor Angulo and Ygor Catatau got on the scoresheet for to give the Islanders the three points over second-placed Jamshedpur FC.
The starting line-up saw one change in Raynier Fernandes, who replaced Vikram Partap Singh from last game. Meanwhile, Jamshedpur brought in Ishan Pandita for Nerijus Valskis and Alex Lima for Len Doungel.
Head to head stats suggest that we have only scored first twice against Jamshedpur FC. Tonight, we made it thrice. It didn’t take long for this, as in the 2nd minute itself, Cassio Gabriel opened his goal-scoring account.
He received the ball outside the box from a corner, and chose to play it into the box. Igor Angulo tried to latch on to it and head it past Rehenesh, but failed to make contact. However, the ‘keeper committed early, disillusioned by Angulo’s movement and the ball found its way into the net.
This was all it took for the floodgates to open. Within a couple minutes, Greg Stewart tried to put his side on level terms. The forward tried to make some space for himself and get a shot off, but it went straight into Nawaz’s safe hands.
Aside from the scoreline, both sides were trading blows almost equally early in the game. Apuia made his way into the referee’s book in the 10th minute, when he lunged at Komal Thatal who was making his way into the box.
The second goal wasn’t too far away after this incident. A long ball from Mourtada Fall, led to a blistering chase between Cassio and Eli Sabia. Fortunately, it was the Brazilian in blue who came out on top, finding himself in ample space on the right edge of the box. In a calm and unselfish manner, he served the ball on a silver platter to Bipin Singh. What was already a landmark 50th game for the Manipuri, also ended up being one where he found the net.
Frustration was starting to overcome the Men of Steel, and was evident when their captain Peter Hartley was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle on Amey Ranawade.
In an eerily repetitive fashion, our third goal came 6 minutes after a booking, just like our second. Raynier Fernandes stole the ball from Laldinliana Renthlei in midfield and fed it into Cassio. A decoy run by Amey, and a good through ball found Igor Angulo in the box. The Spaniard chopped the ball perfectly, and found just enough space to curl one past the defender and goalkeeper. 3-0, and the boys in blue were running away with the game.
The first water break saw both teams cool off a little, perhaps reminding them of the remaining 60 minutes to be played. But, the game was jolted back into life on the cusp of half-time.
Cassio nearly got his hat-trick of assists, embarking on a solo run and nearly setting up Angulo for a brace, only to be denied by the keeper. Alex Lima nearly pulled a goal back for his side before the half-time whistle, as he unleashed a powerful shot from distance. Nawaz’s cat-like reflexes came to the rescue, doing enough to tip the ball away from goal.
Desperate to make the most of the remaining 45, Owen Coyle brought on Boris Singh for Pronay Halder in the second half. His team talk certainly did them well, as they scored two goals within the first 10 minutes.
The first one came from Komal Thatal, when we were defending a counter-attack led by Stewart. The Scotsman sent it across the pitch, bringing Komal Thatal into the box. A curling effort with a minor deflection from Bipin Singh found its way into the goal.
The second one, was a header from Eli Sabia right in front of the goalmouth. Dinliana put in a cross, which took a wicked deflection off of Rahul Bheke’s outstretched leg. Nawaz was quick to react and palm it away, but Ishan Pandita was lurking. He hit the woodwork with his shot, and it fell to Sabia, who headed the ball in.
Des Buckingham made his first change in the 60th minute, sending on Vikram Partap in place of Raynier.
Vikram made an instant impact, finding himself through on goal,. Unfortunately, Rehenesh was quick to react and denied Vikram the opportunity to shoot
Another change followed in the 67th minute, which ended up making an instant impact as well. Ygor Catatau was brought on for Igor Angulo.
The number 38 showed us his Midas touch yet again, scoring only 2 minutes after coming on. Rahul Bheke’s pin-point free kick fell perfectly to Ygor, albeit at a very tight angle. He whipped in a strong left-footer and the ball made its way over Rehenesh and into the goal. His third of the season, and our 4th of the night gave us room to breathe.
The game also saw Anas Edathodika announce his return to the ISL, but unfortunately at the cost of Peter Hartley. The experienced Indian international, came on in the 73rd minute after Hartley went down injured.
The game showed no signs of reducing in intensity. Both sides came close to scoring, with the final chance even coming deep into stoppage time. However, neither Valskis nor Jahouh were able to score, and the game ended at 4-2.
A vital win in a top of the table clash gives us a 4 point lead, further consolidating our top spot. Next up we face Chennaiyin FC on 15th December in a home game at 7:30 PM, looking to extend our winning streak to 4 games.