Mumbai City FC continued their unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory over Kerala Blasters in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday. First-half goals from Mehtab Singh and Jorge Diaz were enough to secure all three points for the Islanders. Kerala Blasters lost their third consecutive game after winning the ISL opener earlier this month. The hosts made two changes to the side that lost in Bhubaneswar last week. Ruivah Hormipam was replaced by Victor Mongil. Up front, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi dropped to the bench as Rahul Kannoly Praveen took his place in the starting line-up.
Mumbai City made just one change to their line-up — Diaz returned to the starting eleven as Alberto Noguera dropped to the bench.
The Islanders took the lead after 21 minutes. The hosts failed to clear a corner as the ball bounced off a couple of Blasters’ players before coming to Mehtab Singh who smashed it into the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, poor defending from Marko Leskovic allowed Diaz to go one-on-one with the keeper. The Argentine kept his composure before scoring against his former club as the visitors doubled their advantage.
The goal came a minute after Mongil had denied Lallianzuala Chhangte with a brilliant last-ditch tackle.
The Mumbai City defence thwarted quite a few attempts by the Blasters. Sahal Abdul Samad’s strike from a tight angle was saved comfortably by Phurba Lachenpa before Rahul KP’s tame volley went wide in the 33rd minute.
Three minutes later, a powerful swerving free-kick effort from Adrian Luna was parried to safety by Lachenpa.
Kerala Blasters did better in the second half. The hosts managed to push the Islanders inside their own half as the Mumbai City defence faced a barrage of Blasters attacks.
Dimitrios Diamantakos’ low shot was palmed away by the keeper before Jeakson Singh’s header from the resulting corner was inches wide in the 57th minute.
As the game inched towards the final quarter, Luna’s effort from inside the box hit the post before landing at the feet of Jessel Carneiro. The full-back adjusted his footing and played the ball across goal to Rahul KP, who headed it wide.
The Blasters pushed Mumbai City into their own half but failed to apply the final touch in the 18-yard box.
The win took Mumbai City to second place on the points table with two wins and two draws after four games in the ISL. They are one point behind leaders Odisha FC, and their next match will be at home against ATK Mohun Bagan FC on November 6.
The woes are piling up for the Blasters as they stay ninth with just one win in four games. They will make the long trip to Guwahati to face NorthEast United FC on November 5. PTI PDS PDS BS BS
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