Mumbai City FC’s challenge for the top spot took a big hit as they went down by a 2-4 margin against Bengaluru FC in the 95th match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) Season at the GMC Bambolim Stadium in Goa.
Bengaluru FC took a 2-0 lead pretty early in the match and ultimately managed to keep the margin intact. The Islanders came back twice through Adam Le Fondre but couldn't close down the game.
It took only a few seconds for Bengaluru FC to take the lead. Cleiton Silva put the ball into the net in clinical fashion after Udanta Singh came up with a fine cross.
Udanta was played into some space by Sunil Chhetri and the winger made no mistake after that.
The Blues could have gone 2-0 within three minutes but Chhetri’s shot from outside the box was deflected away for a corner.
Mumbai City FC should have equalized soon after but Raynier Fernandes fired it wide after receiving a pass from Rowllin Borges.
Parag Srivas then took one for the team as he brought down Adam Le Fondre to stop a dangerous Mumbai City FC counter-attack.
The Islanders came close to equalizing when Ahmed Jahouh played a long ball to Le Fondre but the Englishman misdirected his shot after chesting it down superbly.
Immediately, Amrinder Singh was forced to pull out a cracking save to stop Erik Paartalu’s powerful strike.
However, Amrinder couldn’t do anything when Cleiton Silva headed a Xisco Hernandez free-kick past him to score the second goal for Bengaluru FC.
Manager Sergio Lobera was certainly not happy with how his side were playing as he brought on Jackichand Singh for Rowllin Borges.
Just two minutes later, Gurpreet came up with a fine save to push away Mourtada Fall’s shot from close range.
In the second half, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy immediately produced a chance for Mumbai City FC but Le Fondre couldn’t get to the end of the cross.
It didn’t matter as the Islanders scored their first through a delicate Le Fondre finish in the 50th minute.
CY Goddard got behind the Bengaluru FC defense and put the ball into the middle but Le Fondre still had a lot to do.
The game turned end-to-end with Chhetri being booked for a dive while Gurpreet parried away a Fall header yet again.
Chhetri eventually scored in his 200th appearance for Bengaluru FC after getting to the end of a Gurpreet goal-kick.
Hernan Santana could have intercepted the goal-kick but the centre-back slipped and this allowed Chhetri to put it past Amrinder who raced off his line.
Seconds later, Gurpreet pushed away a fierce shot from Jackichand after Raynier Fernandes played it to him.
The match became quite entertaining when CY Goddard became the provider again with a delicious cross into the middle.
The clinical Le Fondre looped his header into the right-corner of the net.
Goddard then came up with a through ball between the Bengaluru FC defense but Le Fondre was denied this time by Gurpreet’s foot.
Just when Mumbai City FC looked promising for their third goal, the Blues took advantage as Sunil Chhetri registered a brace in stoppage time and rounded off the confidence-boosting win.
Bartholomew Ogbeche’s shot was cleared and the ball fell for substitute Edmund Lalrindika, who made a neat pass to release Chhetri behind the Mumbai City FC defense.
Who was the Hero of the Match?
The captain, leader and legend for Bengaluru FC, Sunil Chhetri bagged the ‘Hero of the Match’ for a superb performance in his 200th match for the club.
Chhetri looked up for the big game from the get-go and played a superb through ball to Udanta Singh to set up the first goal.
The veteran then scored a goal of his own after taking advantage of a Mumbai City FC defensive mistake.
Just as the game was poised for a thrilling finish, the 36-year-old came up with a composed finish to net Bengaluru FC’s fourth goal.