The Islanders’ hopes to make it to the top-4 were shattered with a 2-0 Maharashtra Derby loss to FC Pune City. It was Mumbai City FC’s fourth home defeat in a row. With this loss, the chances of finishing in the top 4 look slimmer than ever.
The first half started with some attacking football from FC Pune City as several chances were created by the visitors. In the 3rd minute of the game, Marcelinho had a chance in the box but Gerson didn’t let him free & he could only shoot the ball to the side netting of the custodian, Amrinder Singh. The Islanders had their own chance in the 7th minute to score the first goal of the match as Pune City FC's goal-keeper Vishal Kaith fumbled a free kick from Emana but found no blue shirts to convert the opportunity.
Amrinder looked confident right through the start of the match. A 10th-minute attempt from Diego was smartly saved by the goal-keeper at his near post. There were enough chances in the early stages of the game for the Islanders, a looping free-kick from Emana found Gerson but his header was off-target in the 15th minute. FC Pune City's striker Marcelinho simply looked off-colour as he missed another chance in the 17th minute of the match when he side footed one just wide of the goal.
When everything seemed to not work in FC Pune City’s favour in the match as they failed to convert a lot of chances created by their midfield, Mumbai City FC's Raju Gaikwad was unlucky to score an own goal. The away side had the lead in the 18th minute of the first half. A poor effort as it was Mumbai City FC’s second own-goal in two matches in a row.
In the 27th minute Mumbai had another beautiful chance, the best so far in the first half of the match but Gerson failed to make any connection off Emana's free-kick. Sanju tried to bring Mumbai back in the game with a 30-yard long range shot which was well put away by Vishal. The only positive from the first half was the impact of Achille Emana who was running the show for the home side.
Mumbai City FC got into the attacking mode right from the start of the second half, an attempt from Balwant for the equalizer in the 48th minute went over the crossbar. As Mumbai struggled to score an equalizer continued, a great block from Rozario denied Diego an opportunity to double the lead for FC Pune City.
It was perhaps not the match Mumbai City FC would like to remember, so would Gerson as he failed to keep another header on target from Emana’s free-kick. At the game's 65th minute Mumbai made their first change with 18-year old, Pranjal Bhumij replacing Zakeer. Soon that was followed by another change with Davinder Singh came in for Sahil Tavora. Everton Santos collected the through ball from Thiago Santos before shooting wide off the target as he failed to control the ball properly.
The Islanders should have equalized in the 72nd minute, Balwant’s low shot was saved by Vishal & the rebound fell to Thiago Santos who failed to hit the target from a few yards out. Amrinder, the custodian made sure that the FC Pune City's lead stayed at 1-0 as he made another comfortable save off Marcelinho’s shot.
The Islanders had their chances a lot more than one can ask for but the conversion-rate had been poor as a 80th minute corner from Sanju Pradhan found Rafa Jorda in the box, only to see his header straight into the hands of the Pune City FC custodian.
All hopes to salvage anything from the game were finished in the 83rd minute when Marcelinho doubled the visitors lead, as he finished an attack with a left foot shot past Amrinder. The Islanders were short on numbers at the back & FC Pune City hit them on the break.
The Islanders wouldn't complain with the number of opportunities created, but just that they weren’t converted. The score line might have been different given the conversion-rate from the Islanders that weren’t put to bed.
The Islanders will hope to turn things around soon as they take on ATK on 18th February at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata.