Mumbai City seals 2-0 win over Odisha with a brilliant second-half display

With this win, Mumbai City has climbed to the second position

Mumbai City secures their first win of the 202-/23 Indian Super League season by handing Odisha a 2-0 defeat on Saturday. An own goal from Shubham Sarangi and a late Bipin Singh strike comprised the Islanders’ two goals.

Des Buckingham made four changes to his team following a 3-3 stalemate against Hyderabad. After a poor defensive display, Mourtada Fall and Mandar Rao Dessai made way for Mehtab Singh and Sanjeev Stalin respectively, while Ahmed Jahouh and Alberto Noguera came in place of Vinit Rai and Jorge Pereyra Diaz.

Josep Gambau, on the other hand, made a couple of tweaks to the team that defeated Jamshedpur 3-2. Thoiba Singh was replaced by Shubham in the right-back position, while by playing Osama Malik as a midfielder, the Spanish tactician fielded Isaac Vanmalsawma in Narender Gehlot’s place.

Mumbai City had the better start in this fixture, with Bipin, Noguera, and Jahouh causing Odisha’s defense a few problems in the first few minutes. However, against the run of play, Jerry Mawihmingthanga struck a shot in the 7th minute, though one of Buckingham’s defenders deflected it for a corner.

Seven minutes later, it was once again the Kalinga Warriors who came close to scoring, as a half-cross-half-shot from full-back Sahil Panwar had to be turned over the bar by the Islanders’ custodian, Phurba Lachenpa.

Although the Islanders kept the lion’s share of the possession, Odisha launched a few attacks at regular intervals. Just before the half-hour mark, Nandhakumar Sekar launched a dangerous corner from the left wing, but it was cleared by a Mumbai City defender.

Despite being the better side, it took Buckingham’s team 40 minutes to have their first real chance. After finding himself in space, Apuia launched a shot which struck one of Gambau’s defenders, and while the Mumbai City players appealed for handball, the referee was not to be moved.

The last two chances of the match fell to Odisha, or to be more precise, it fell to the former Mumbai City striker, Diego Mauricio. The Brazilian first waltzed past the defenders before finding the side netting with this effort in the 44th minute, while in the very next minute, he had another crack but found Phurba this time around.

Unlike the first half, Mumbai City had a good opportunity at the very beginning of the second half when Bipin found Lallianzuala Chhangte with a cross, but the latter could not find the target. However, it did not mean much in the context of the outcome, as the goal eventually arrived in the 50th minute.

After dribbling past a few defenders, Chhangte drilled in a low attempt which was parried away by Odisha goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, but unfortunately for the custodian, the ball ricocheted back to the net after striking Shubham.

Odisha almost restored parity in the 58th minute when Mauricio struck a delightful shot, but Phurba matched it with an equally impressive save to keep the scoreline at 1-0. In the 74th minute, Thoiba decided to try out his luck, but he certainly did not have his scoring boots on.

Greg Stewart pulled the strings from the middle for Mumbai City

Greg Stewart pulled the strings from the middle for Mumbai City

After dealing with Odisha’s incessant attacks, Mumbai City finally launched an attack of their own in the 82nd minute when Vignesh Dakshinamurthy put in a great cross for Greg Stewart, but the Scotsman’s shot was saved by Amrinder.

Once again, Gambau’s team regained control of the game and in the 85th minute, Isaac had a pop at the goal, but he could only find the roof of the net and not the back of it. Just as when it seemed that Mumbai City could succumb to the pressure, they ended up scoring an insurance goal.

A swift counter-attack saw Stewart making a darting run down the middle before he chose to square it for Bipin. From close range, the Manipuri winger had no problems whatsoever in beating Amrinder to seal three points for his team.

Following this defeat, Mumbai City climbed up to the second place in the standings – behind only Hyderabad on goal difference. They will now take on Jamshedpur on Saturday while Odisha, who is now in the seventh place, will take on Kerala Blasters next Sunday.