Hyderabad snatches a late point against 10-men Mumbai City

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Jorge Pereyra Diaz of Mumbai City in action against Nikhil Poojary of Hyderabad

ISL League Shield winners Mumbai City were on their way to picking up a win over Hyderabad despite being down to ten men for the majority of the contest. However, a late own goal by Tiri spoiled their ambitions as the match finished in a 1-1 draw at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday. 

The hosts’ head coach Des Buckingham made two changes to the line-up that lost 0-6 to Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League Rahul Bheke replaced Rostyn Griffiths while Abdelnasser El Khayati took the position of Yoell van Nieff. 

Hyderabad coach Thangboi Singto made no changes as the same side took the field and lost 0-1 to Chennaiyin. 

The Islanders were presented with a wonderful opportunity in the 5th minute when Jorge Pereyra Diaz beat his marker with his first touch and unleashed Vikram Pratap Singh on goal with a through pass. The youngster did well to shrug off the challenge of Nikhil Poojary but his final shot was inches wide. 

Mumbai City were dealt a death blow in the 7th minute when the referee handed their goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa the marching orders. El Khayati made an aerial back pass towards the defenders which was intercepted by Joe Knowles. 

Lachenpa came out of his line to tackle the Australian but ended up fouling him. The referee reached out to his back pocket and rightfully showed him the red card. Mohammad Nawaz was brought into the game to don the gloves as Vikram was sacrificed to the bench.

Greg Stewart of Mumbai City in action against Hyderabad playersGreg Stewart of Mumbai City in action against Hyderabad players

Buckingham’s side wasn’t affected by the red card as they almost took the lead in the 11th minute. Greg Stewart directed his corner kick towards Akash Mishra outside the box and the Indian international’s shot from the first touch was palmed away by the rival goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh. 

In the 14th minute, Knowles drilled a low shot from the edge of the box but it trickled wide of the post as Hyderabad took their first shot in the game. 

After a long passage of midfield battles, Lallianzuala Chhangte made a lung-bursting run in the 33rd minute on the right flank and aimed for Diaz in the middle but Gurmeet dived full-stretched and palmed away the danger. 

In the final minute of regulation time of the first half, Hyderabad got a glorious opportunity to take the lead as Nikhil Poojary was left unmarked in the right flank and the full-back crossed the ball towards Aaren D’Silva in the middle. None of the Islanders’ defenders bothered to mark him in the box and the youngster found himself at the end of a free header but his shot sailed over the crossbar as the scoreline stayed 0-0. 

In the 51st minute, a long throw from Hyderabad troubled the Mumbai City defense as Mehtab Singh tried to shield it away but the ball took a wicked deflection and Nawaz held on to the ball to prevent an own goal. 

The deadlock was finally broken in the 76th minute when Stewart released substitute Bipin Singh on the left flank. Manoj Mohammed failed to clear the danger and ended up rolling the ball past the goal line as Mumbai City took the lead. 

In the 88th minute, Poojary was once again left unmarked on the right flank and the Indian international tried to find substitute Felipe Amorim in the box but the Brazilian failed to time his jump as the ball evaded him. 

The referee gave seven minutes of additional time for Hyderabad to score an equalizer and the visiting side got one goal back in the sixth minute. Knowles angled a low cross towards the near post and the ball drifted past the right shoulder of Tiri. Nawaz was caught unaware of the sudden deflection and the ball nestled into the back of the net. 

The match finished 1-1 as the two teams shared the spoils extending Mumbai City’s unbeaten run in the competition with two draws and two victories to their name. They occupy the fifth spot behind Goa, Kerala Blasters, Mohun Bagan Super Giant, and NorthEast United. The Islanders host Punjab on Thursday in their next match and will have to play without Lachenpa after the red card. 

The draw earned Hyderabad their first point of the league but they continue to linger at the bottom of the table. With a solitary point off four games, they would be eager to get some more points in their bag when they square off against Bengaluru on Saturday.