Mumbai City FC was back in action earlier today when they faced the Indian Navy Team in their opening Durand Cup match of Group-B. Mumbai started with both Noguera and Stewart in the midfield with Pereyra Diaz, alongside Vikram Pratap and Bipin Singh.
The first forty minutes of the game were all about Navy’s goalkeeper Velutha Vishnu’s brilliance. The keeper single-handedly kept Navy in the match until Adersh Mattumal scored a brilliant goal past Phurba Lachenpa to give Navy a surprise lead. However, the lead didn’t last for long as Vikram Pratap Singh scored the equalizer soon.
The star performer of the first half for Mumbai was undoubtedly Apuia, whose calm presence in the midfield compensated for the frequent runs that Noguera and Stewart were making from the midfield. Tactically, Mumbai fielded a 4-3-3 with Amey Ranwade frequently moving inside to act as the extra midfielder. Mumbai’s attacking front was combining well with one-touch passing opening up the Navy defense on multiple occasions. Navy, before scoring the opener had a brilliant chance when they were in a 2 v 1 situation but squandered the opportunity.
Adersh Muttumal, for the opener, received the ball outside Mumbai’s box, dribble past a few, and then landed a powerful shot past Phurba Lachenpa to give Navy the lead. However, moments later, Vikram Pratap Singh, who had been very active on the right flank, made a calm and composed finish, finally getting past Velutha to restore parity.
The second half started with Jahouh coming in for Diaz with Stewart moving up to play as a striker. Mumbai missed out on two easy chances to take the lead, with Rahul Bheke’s two powerful headers saved by the goalkeeper. Chhangte and Stalin later replaced Ranwade and Vikram, and soon after Mumbai scored their second as Noguera was tripped inside the box and the referee gave a penalty. Stewart converted the spot-kick as Mumbai deservingly took the lead.
Mumbai could have scored two more goals by the 80th-minute mark but Bipin and Chhangte missed a couple of chances to do so. Bipin Singh was disappointing in converting chances but overall had a good game making important runs and always being a menance on the left flank.
Lallianzuala Chhangte scored twice in the dying minutes of the game dribbling past a couple of Navy players and slotting the ball comfortably into the net for the first one. His second came courtesy to Gurkirat’s amazing run down the flank, after which Chhangte slotted it into an open net. Buckingham’s side finished with a 4-1 scoreline, after going 1-0 down.
Mumbai will face ATK Mohun Bagan on August 24th next while Navy will be in action on 22nd August against Emami East Bengal.
Follow our website for all the latest updates on Indian Football.