Mumbai City overcome scare against Jamshedpur to extend unbeaten run

Two late goals helped Mumbai City clinch all three points

Mumbai City’s unbeaten streak in the 2022-23 Indian Super League season was further extended as they overturned a deficit to secure a 2-1 win over Jamshedpur, here at the JRD Tata Sports Complex. Lallinzuala Chhangte and Vikram Pratap Singh were on the scoresheet for the Islanders, while for the Red Miners, Boris Singh Thangjam was the lone goal-scorer.

After a disappointing 0-3 defeat against Bengaluru, Jamshedpur head coach Aidy Boothroyd made three changes to his starting XI. Pratik Chaudhari, Boris, and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas featured from the start, with Laldinpuia Pachuau, Germanpreet Singh, and Rafael Crivellaro making way for them respectively.

On the other hand, Mumbai City head coach Des Buckingham had the luxury of chopping and changing his team, with a place in the next round already secured. Sanjeev Stalin and Mandar Rao Dessai got a chance in the starting XI, with Rahul Bheke and Vinit Rai dropping to the bench.

As many expected, the Islanders dominated possession from the start and they had their first chance in only the 5th minute. Ahmed Jahouh launched a cross for Jorge Pereyra Diaz, but the Red Miners’ custodian, TP Rehenesh sniffed the danger early and reached the ball before the Argentine could.

Two minutes later, Bipin Singh threaded a beautiful pass for Greg Stewart, who then did well to beat his marker and launch an attempt, but he could not trouble Rehenesh with his shot.

After relentless pressure from the visitors, Jamshedpur finally had their first chance in the 15th minute. Daniel Chima Chukwu played a pass for Ritwik Das, who kept his attempt on target but it went straight to the Islanders’ goal-keeper, Phurba Lachenpa.

Boothroyd’s team had another chance in the 22nd minute, with Das playing a crucial part once again. After beating Sanjeev Stalin with his intricate skills, the winger had another attempt, but it was not on target this time around.

The best chance of the lot, however, came just after the half-hour mark. Harry Sawyer played a pass for Das, who once again did well to have an attempt on goal. But like his first attempt, he was denied a goal by an alert Lachenpa.

It took Mumbai City a while to take the fizz out of Jamshedpur’s consistent attacks, but they finally managed to turn the tides and create an opportunity in the 36th minute. After receiving a pass from Jahouh, Stewart sent Chhangte free inside the box. However, the latter could not keep his shot on target.

The last major incident from the first half happened in the 42nd minute when Chukwu managed to head a corner from Thomas into the back of the net. However, the goal was disallowed for a foul inside the box.

Unlike the first period, it was the hosts who had the better start to the second half as in the 49th minute, another vicious corner from Thomas was met by Sawyer, whose header took a deflection off Mourtada Fall before going out for a corner.

Only three minutes later, the Red Miners came agonizingly close yet again. After receiving a pass from Pronay Halder, Laldinliana Renthlei found Boris, who recycled the move back to the midfielder who started it all – Pronay. However, the veteran’s shot was saved by Lachenpa.

The all-Jamshedpur show continued as in the 62nd minute, Ricky Lallawmawma almost scored his team’s opening goal. After receiving a pass from Sawyer, the left-back tried launching a cross into the box, but he somehow miscued his attempt to turn it into a shot instead, which missed the goal by a whisker.

However, the constant attacks eventually paid off as the hosts scored the elusive first goal in only the next minute. Das played a through ball for Chukwu, and while the Nigerian could not meet it, the ball landed in the path of Boris who finally got the better of Lachenpa with a powerful attempt.

Having conceded, Mumbai City unveiled their usual performance in the last 20 minutes. Alberto Noguera first had a chance in the 71st minute, and while his attempt was saved by Rehenesh, the equalizer did arrive only nine minutes later.

After beating his marker Renthlei, Bipin played a pass for Chhangte, who managed to get his shot between Rehenesh’s legs to restore parity in the game. The pressure from Buckingham’s men continued, and Jamshedpur’s defense collapsed again in the 86th minute.

Chhangte changed his role from the scorer to a provider this time, as his pass set Vikram free down the left flank. The youngster attempted an audacious chip, which left Rehenesh stranded before finding the back of the net.

With this win, Mumbai City remains in the first position, with 42 points in 16 matches. They will now take on Hyderabad next Saturday while Jamshedpur, who remains tenth with 9 points in 16 matches, will be up against NorthEast United on the same date.