Mumbai City FC picked up a 2-0 win over Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco to continue their six-match unbeaten run in the seventh season of the ISL. Goals from Adam le Fondre and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy proved to be the difference as the Islanders gave their fans an early Christmas present.
Vignesh Dakshinamurthy scored the opening goal of the contest in the 38th minute, courtesy of a blistering volley to the far post. Mumbai City FC doubled the lead in the 59th minute after pressurizing Hyderabad FC's defense. Rowllin Borges picked up the ball and delivered a low cross, which Adam le Fondre slotted home comfortably.
With this win, Mumbai City FC strengthened their grip at the summit with five wins from seven matches. Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, remained in the sixth position on the points table as their unbeaten run ended.
Let's take a look at the four things we learned from this game.
#4 The two sides cancel out each other in the first half
The first half of the game between Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC only had one shot on target as the composed defense of both sides canceled each other out.
Hyderabad FC tried to exploit the wings to avoid Rowllin Borges and Ahmed Jahouh in the center while Mumbai City FC mainly attacked through the left wing. The defense of the Islanders looked vulnerable a couple of times, but the opposition fluffed their lines in the final third.
Mumbai City FC broke the deadlock when Ahmed Jahouh's diagonal ball found Bipin Singh inside the penalty box. An unmarked Vignesh Dakshinamurthy connected the resultant cross as his scorching strike left Subrata Paul flabbergasted.
#3 Mumbai City FC to get stronger with the addition of Hugo Boumous
Hugo Boumous got injured before Mumbai City FC's previous game. Although the Islanders won today's match against Hyderabad FC with ease, the side will only get stronger when he comes back.
Cy Goddard, who was deployed in his position, was able to replicate neither his dribbling skills nor his passing abilities. As a result, Mumbai City FC resorted to long balls from Ahmed Jahouh and runs from Bipin Singh in the left flank to create an attacking avenue.
Although Mumbai City FC got the opening goal, the penetration from the center was lacking. Boumous has already registered four assists in five games and will be raring to add to his tally once he becomes match fit.
#2 Time for Liston Colaco to start for Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez Roca did not start Liston Colaco as he wanted to capitalize on the opposition's fatigue in the second half. With the energy-sapping weather of Goa, Liston found it easy to dribble past opponents and deliver final passes. But, he wasn't in his best form against Mumbai City FC.
Liston's most vital contribution was winning a free-kick outside the box in the 68th minute. The former FC Goa player didn't get enough touches of the ball to create a substantial impact as Hyderabad FC tasted defeat for the first time. He had another mazy run in the 80th minute, but Mourtada Fall's block derailed him from his tracks.
Liston's frustration was evident later as he went down cheaply in the penalty box only to be brandished a yellow card. The strategy of using him as a super substitute had paid off against SC East Bengal, but it backfired against a strong side like Mumbai City FC.
#1 Mumbai City FC's unbeaten run continues
Mumbai City FC were hailed as the favorites to win the title even before the season had started. And, with another romping win over Hyderabad FC, it looks like they will live up to the tag.
Mumbai City FC only lost their first match of the season when they were reduced to ten men in the first half. They are yet to lose a match following that. Prominent names like Mandar Rao Dessai, Bartholomew Ogbeche, and Hugo Boumous didn't start the match against Hyderabad FC. Yet they bagged full points with ease.
Kerala Blasters, ATK Mohun Bagan, and Bengaluru FC are the three remaining opponents in the first half of the season. It remains to be seen whether either of them can end the invincible run of Mumbai City FC.Published 20 Dec 2020, 21:48 IST