ISL IX: Mumbai City FC toy with Kerala Blasters
Mumbai City FC trounced Kerala Blasters 4-0 in an ISL IX match at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Sunday.
The win brought an end to Kerala Blasters’ eight-match unbeaten run and vaulted Mumbai City FC back to the top of the table, as they brought up a league record eight wins in a row. All the goals came within the first 22 minutes.
The visitors tried to keep pace with Mumbai City FC for the opening 10 minutes of the game but still couldn’t keep Mumbai City FC’s relentless frontline at bay.
In the fourth minute, Bipin Singh received a long ball from the back on the wings — which would become a feature throughout the game — and played a one-two with Greg Stewart to break into the box. His shot was saved by Prabhsukhan Gill, but the deflection fell in the path of Jorge Diaz who swept the ball home for the first of his two goals.
Some close tackles ensued in midfield immediately after but just as the Blasters seemed to have lifted themselves, Stewart was on hand to deflate them in the 10th minute. This time it was Lallianzuala Chhangte who received a long diagonal on the opposite wing, before floating it into the box for Stewart, who got to the ball before Gill to nod it home.
Before the Blasters could regroup, another long ball split their defence. Mehtab Singh found Diaz’s run in the channels, and the striker held it up in the box before cutting it back for Bipin on the left. The winger took his time before curling the ball into the top left corner. Diaz then put the fixture to bed in the 22nd minute, running onto a through ball from Ahmed Jahouh and finding the net via a deflection off Victor Mongil.
Punjab FC win
RoundGlass Punjab FC continued their unbeaten run at home in the I-League by defeating Neroca FC 3-1 in Panchkula, while Gokulam Kerala made a perfect start to their year, eking out a 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers in Manjeri.
Luka Majcen, Brandon Vanlalremdika and Krishnananda Singh scored for Punjab FC. Yumnam Gopi Singh scored the consolation goal for Neroca.
Punjab FC have maintained their second position in the table below Sreenidi Deccan FC who have played a match more than them.
Punjab FC started the half with more intent and deployed their usual high press strategy giving no time on the ball for the opponents. Juan Mera and Pranjal Bhumij were lively on the wings. They took the lead in the 12th minute. Pranjal played a ball into the box which found a free Luka Majcen who jumped high to deposit a thumping header.