Mumbai City FC faced Mohun Bagan in a highly anticipated match, with Petr Kratky making a couple of changes from the lineup that secured a 0-0 draw against East Bengal. Rostyn Griffiths replaced Tiri at the back, and Lallianzuala Chhangte took over Jayesh Rane's position on the right wing.
The opening minutes saw a promising chance for Mumbai City FC when Chhangte orchestrated a play, finding Yoëll van Nieff in a prime position. Nieff's left-footed attempt from outside the box narrowly missed the top-left corner, setting an early tone for Mumbai's attacking ambition.
However, Mohun Bagan swiftly retaliated with Manvir Singh and Hugo Boumous collaborating in a threatening offensive move. Despite Boumous's efforts, Mehtab Singh's crucial tackle mitigated the danger, preventing Singh's shot from testing the Mumbai goalkeeper.
In a turning point in the 13th minute, Akash Mishra's mistimed challenge on Manvir Singh led to his dismissal, reducing Mumbai to ten men. The setback prompted defensive adjustments from Coach Kratky, forcing an early substitution, as Valpuia replaced Chhangte to reinforce Mumbai's defensive line.
Taking advantage of their numerical superiority, Mohun Bagan intensified their attacks, testing Phurba Lachenpa with several attempts on target. The Mumbai custodian, however, exhibited composure, denying the Mariners' attempts to extend their lead.
A well-executed play in the 25th minute from Subhashish on the left wing found Liston, who skillfully navigated past Mumbai's defense to deliver a low cross. Jason Cummings capitalized on the opportunity, slotting the ball past Lachenpa to grant Mohun Bagan a 1-0 lead.
Despite being a man down, Mumbai persisted in their pursuit of an equalizer. Mumbai went close when Apuia and Greg Stewart combined to find Van nieff in space in the centre. The latter took a touch before unleashing a venomous shot that went just over the bar.
In a dramatic turn of events, Mumbai pull of the equalizer. Diaz dropping down to get the ball sends Bipin through on the wings with a quick turn and pass. The latter’s cross to the far post is headed into the goal by Greg Stewart to send the home fans into the raptures.
As the first half progressed, Mumbai's confidence grew, evident in their attacking forays. Apuia and Stewart's combination created a promising opportunity for van Nieff, whose powerful strike narrowly missed the target, coming agonizingly close to giving Mumbai the lead.
Moments later Mumbai go close again when Greg Stewart operating on the left finds Van Nieff whose shots deflects off a defender to go just nestle over the bar. The resulting corner is headed on target by Griffiths but its collected by Vishal as the first half concludes to 1-1.
The second half kicked off with both teams seeking control in a tightly contested battle. The tempo heightened when Asish Rai of Mohun Bagan was shown a red card for a reckless foul on Pereyra Diaz.
Moments later the dramatic turn continued as Subhasish received a yellow card for a foul on Mehtab Singh, but Liston's vehement protest resulted in a red card, reducing Mohun Bagan to nine men.
The double red card forced the Mariners Coach to make quick substitutions, bringing in Kiyan Nassiri and D. Petratos for Boumous and Cummings. Mumbai seized the opportunity, initiating attacks and creating chances. Van Nieff attempted a long-range shot that sailed wide, aiming to exploit the numerical advantage.
Capitalizing on the situation, Coach Petr Kratky introduced Vikram Singh, hoping to maximize the man advantage. The strategic move paid off in the 73rd minute when a short corner routine orchestrated by Greg Stewart led to Bipin Singh's shot deflecting off a defender and looping into the top corner, giving Mumbai the lead.
In the 80th minute, D. Petratos had a chance for Mohun Bagan, but Griffiths' timely deflection with his outstretched foot redirected the ball for a corner. Despite sustained pressure, Mumbai's defense held firm, with Manvir's attempt to deflect a volleyed shot from Kiyan going just over the bar.
Vikram Singh's energetic run in the 85th minute provided another chance for Mumbai, but Apuia's subsequent shot sailed over the bar. The intensity heightened as Greg Stewart went down in the box, receiving a second yellow card and reducing Mumbai to nine men as well.
In the 90th minute, Mohun Bagan mounted continous pressure, with Thapa finding Nassiri at the edge of the box. Phurba made a brilliant diving save to his right denying Nassiri's shot. With eight minutes of added time, Mohun Bagan desperately sought a comeback, but Mumbai's defense held strong, making crucial interceptions and blocks.
In the dying seconds, Mohun Bagan earned a corner, and the ball fell to Anirudh Thapa outside the box. His right-footed shot, however, was blocked away.
The referee's final whistle confirmed Mumbai City FC's hard-fought victory against the Mohun Bagan side. Vikram Singh was shown a second yellow post full time whistle after a chaos among the player resulting into a total 5 Red cards in the game. The Islanders come from behind win showcased their exceptional defensive resilience and clinical finishing despite being reduced to eight men by the end of the game.
Mumbai City FC next head to Kochi for the away game against Kerala Blasters to be played on December 24th in a Sunday evening encounter.