Chhangte brace hands Odisha their first home loss of the season

Lallianzuala Chhangte scored two and assisted another against Odisha

Mumbai City registered a comprehensive 4-2 win over Odisha away from home at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Lallianzuala Chhangte was the standout performer for the Islanders with his 2 goals and an assist in the game that was very finely poised till the break.

Des Buckingham made three changes to the starting XI that won against Chennaiyin at home. Mandar Rao Dessai, Apuia, and Mourtada Fall were replaced by Vignesh D, Vinit Rai, and Rostyn Griffiths in the starting line-up for the game against Odisha.

Odisha made a couple of changes as Osama Malik and Pedro were replaced by Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Diego Mauricio as the hosts were trying to break a three-game winless streak.

Mumbai City started the game aggressively and was looking to put the Kalinga Warriors on the backfoot from the first whistle. They created the first chance of the game in the 2nd minute. Bipin found the ball at his feet in space on the left flank from the kick-off. He drove towards Odisha’s goal and then shot towards the far post. Jorge Pereyra Diaz was sliding in at the back post inside the box but the ball narrowly missed him as he failed to make contact, and the score stayed 0-0.

The ball then immediately broke for Odisha from the goal kick after some interplay in the Odisha midfield ended at Diego Mauricio’s feet. He broke towards the goal from a difficult angle and tried beating Phurba with a shot from his weaker foot but he caught the ball comfortably. After only four minutes on the clock, both teams had shown intent to start quickly and attack.

Odisha however slowly started to get chances. In the 19th minute of the game, Victor put in an accurate cross for Carlos who had made his way inside the Islanders’ box. His header was straight at Phurba who calmly collected the ball.

In the 41st minute, the Islanders carved out a chance for themselves. Chhangte was found on the right flank in space. He put in a smart ball that made its way through to Bipin Singh on the left side of the box. He then played it back inside towards an on-rushing Jorge Pereyra Diaz, whose shot was just wide of the goal. The scores were still 0-0 but the game was slowly opening up.

Diego Mauricio also scored a brace but it was in a losing cause

Diego Mauricio also scored a brace but it was in a losing cause

In the 55th minute, the Islanders took the lead as Jorge Pereyra Diaz was found by Chhangte on the right flank. The Argentine then turned on the style to thread the ball through with some nifty footwork back to Chhangte. The Islanders’ number 7 then drove into the box from the right and unleashed an unstoppable shot that came off the crossbar and went inside the goal past Amrinder Singh. The score read 1-0 in favor of the Islanders as the game from there on exploded into life.

Mumbai City’s lead did not last for long as Odisha scored an equaliser in the 60th minute. Mauricio picked the ball up in midfield and drove towards the Mumbai City goal while sidestepping challenges. He played a smart one-two with Victor on the edge of the box and found himself in space inside the Islanders’ box where he calmly slotted the ball past Lachenpa as the scores read 1-1.

Immediately after that Buckingham made the first substitution of the night as he brought off Greg Stewart for Alberto Noguera in the 62nd minute of the game. The Islanders slightly tweaked their tactical set-up to allow their wingers to have more influence on the game.

The tactical tweak yielded instant results as in the 68th minute of the game the Islanders were awarded a free-kick from which they took the lead again. Ahmed Jahouh’s free-kick from right outside the Odisha box was heading towards the top corner but Amrinder punched up in the air and it fell kindly for an unmarked Bipin Singh who was following up hoping for a chance. He stroked the ball into the net with ease from point-blank range to make it 2-1 in favor of the Islanders.

A minute later in the 80th minute of the game Chhangte doubled the Islanders’ lead. Noguera won the ball in midfield and then turned expertly while holding off challenges. He then played a sumptuous through ball behind the Odisha defence towards Chhangte on the right flank. 

The Islanders’ number 7 put his foot in bravely to steal the ball off of Amrinder who was caught in no man’s land. Chhangte then composed himself and slotted the ball into an empty net right from the edge of the box to make it 3-1 in favor of Mumbai City.

Mumbai City players celebrate a goal

Mumbai City players celebrate a goal

In the 86th minute of the game, Noguera made it 4-1 for the Islanders. Chhangte was again found in acres of space on the right flank by a smart ball by Jahouh. He dummied his way past the Odisha full-back to make his way inside the box and laid the ball up for an on-rushing Noguera and the Spaniard slid in to put the ball into the Kalinga Warrior’s goal.

Coach Buckingham then made his final changes in the game. In the 87th minute, he brought on Vikram Partap Singh for Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Asif Khan for the star of the night, Chhangte. Asif, who has risen through the ranks at Mumbai City, made his much-awaited ISL debut.

Odisha did not let up though despite the scoreline as they were still looking for goals in the dying embers of the game. A long ball towards the Mumbai City’s goal back post was headed towards the centre by Jerry. The ball fell to Mauricio who controlled the ball and composed himself before releasing a thunderbolt from right outside the box that arrowed into the right top corner of the Islanders’ goal. 

Mauricio scored his second goal of the match in the 91st minute of the game which only proved to be a consolation as the referee soon after blew for full time as the scores read 4-2 in favor of the Islanders.

Mumbai City extended their unbeaten run in the league to 12 with this comprehensive win over Odisha, the 7th on the trot. They also put an end to the Kalinga Warrior’s unbeaten home run this season with the 4-2 win on the night. 

Mumbai City will welcome Kerala Blasters to the Mumbai Football Arena for their next game of the 2022-23 ISL season on Sunday while Odisha will face Stephen Constantine’s East Bengal on Saturday.