Mumbai City gets the better of Chennaiyin in extra time to advance to the 2022 Durand Cup semi-final￼
Mumbai City rode on Greg Stewart’s hat-trick to beat Chennaiyin 5-3 in the quarter-finals of Durand Cup 2022 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday as the game dragged on to extra time. Lallianzuala Chhangte scored a brace for the Islanders while Petar Sliskovic (59’), Jockson Das (89’) and Rahim Ali (112’) found the net for Marina Machans.
Debjit Majumder started between the sticks for Chennaiyin while V Ajith Kumar, Narayan Das, Akash Sangwan, and Vafa Hakhamaneshi formed the back four. Edwin Vanspaul, Julius Duker, Sajal Bag, and captain Anirudh Thapa rotated the balls in the midfield while Kwame Karikari and Petar Sliskovic shouldered the striking responsibilities.
Mumbai City fielded themselves in a 4-3-3 formation with Phurba Lachenpa guarding the sticks. Amey Ranawade, Rostyn Griffiths, Mehtab Singh, and Sanjeev Stalin formed the back four while Ahmed Jahouh, Vinit Rai, and Alberto Noguera dictated terms in the centre of the park. The trio of Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, and Greg Stewart attacked from the front and were ready to pounce on every loose opportunity.
The first chance of the game fell to Mumbai City in the 2nd minute when Alberto Noguera found a loose ball at himself off a deflection of a defender but his final shot was parried away by the Chennaiyin custodian. The Spaniard was once again involved in the thick of things eight minutes later as he received a pass from Lallianzuala Chhangte. However, his final shot took a deflection and was collected by the keeper.
Amey Ranawade was brought down inside the box by Debjit in the 38th minute while trying to receive a lobbed pass from Ahmed Jahouh and the referee rightfully pointed towards the spot. Greg Stewart made no mistake in converting his penalty to put Mumbai’s noses upfront at the stroke of half-time.
Mumbai City made their intentions clear in the 56th minute when Stewart backheeled a pass towards Noguera at the edge of the box, whose crossfield pass found Chhangte. However, the final shot was blocked by the keeper.
However, it was Chennaiyin who scored the first goal in the second half as Petar Sliskovic nodded in Ninthoinganba Meetei’s cross three minutes later to equalize the proceedings. Chhangte was once again denied by Debjit while Petar’s effort went wide in the next ten minutes.
Tired legs saw quick exchanges of goals as Chhangte scored against his former side by poking the ball into the net after connecting a low cross from Bipin in the 78th minute. In the dying minutes of regulation time, Ninthoi’s cross once again wreaked havoc as the opposition had no answer to Jockson Dhas’ half-volley. The scoreline at the end of ninety minutes read 2-2.
Substitute Mourtada Fall lobbed a pass towards Chhangte inside the box and the latter made no mistake in slamming it home as Mumbai took a one-goal lead at extra-time. Greg’s darting solo run through the right flank ended with him finding the bottom of the net as Mumbai had a two-goal cushion at the end of the first half of extra-time.
Thapa kept on knocking on the doors with his vicious corner kicks and he was finally rewarded when Rahim Ali stretched his legs to meet a pass from Julius off a cross from the corner to trim down the lead to one goal. Just when it seemed Chennaiyin would equalize once again, Chhangte combined well with Stewart to deal the death blow as the latter completed his hat-trick.
Mumbai City will square off against Mohammedan in the semi-final at the same venue on September 14. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin will be packing their bags and moving back to their home to prepare for the upcoming season of ISL.