Indian Super League (ISL) heavyweights Mumbai City FC stormed into the quarter-finals of the Durand Cup with an emphatic 5-1 victory against Rajasthan United FC at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, on Monday (August 29).
MCFC set the Durand Cup ablaze, with five individuals getting their names on the scoresheet for the Islanders.
Des Buckingham's men opened the tournament with a 4-1 win over the Indian Navy before they were held to a 1-1 draw by ATK Mohun Bagan. Meanwhile, Rajasthan United FC edged past ATK Mohun Bagan in a thrilling 3-2 encounter before playing out a goalless draw against East Bengal FC.
On Monday, right from the opening exchanges, Mumbai City FC emerged as the team with a mission to establish their superiority on the field. The Islanders opened the scoring in the 10th minute itself through Greg Stewart. New signing Jorge Pereyra Diaz, after making a neat turn, saw Stewart sneak between the two defenders. The Scotsman latched on to the ball from Diaz and then buried it past the keeper.
Even after bagging the opening goal, Mumbai kept up the pressure and Lallianzuala Chhangte, who was creating havoc with his mazy runs, bagged the second goal of the night. Chhangte received the ball on the right flank, cut inside, and let go of a left-footer that took an unfortunate deflection off an RUFC defender and went in.
In the 36th minute, Mumbai City FC added another to their tally when Mehtab Singh stabbed home an inch-perfect corner from Stewart from the right. Going into the break, Mumbai City FC were cruising and RUFC had no response to the onslaught.
Mumbai City FC continue scoring spree even in second half
Although Rajasthan came out with a lot more fight in the second half, Mumbai were relentless in their pursuit of goals. Vikram Pratap Singh was brought down inside the box just after the hour mark and Ahmed Jahouh made no mistake in converting from the spot to make it 4-0.
In the 67th minute, however, Rajasthan found a consolation goal through Gyanmar Nikum. The youngster received the ball on the edge of the box, breezed past two markers and curled the ball into the net.
While RUFC had hoped that the suffering was over, Mumbai went on to add a fifth in the second minute of stoppage time through Vikram Pratap.
Next up, Mumbai City FC will square off against East Bengal FC in their final group stage game of the tournament, while Rajasthan United FC will play the Indian Navy.