Mumbai City FC ended the year on a high note as they edged out Hyderabad FC 2-1 at the Mumbai Football Arena to bag their first home victory of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 season on Sunday. With the win, the Islanders broke into the top four going into the new year.
As the game got underway, both sides started with intent and created early chances on either end. In fact, the first goal seemed like it was just a few minutes away and the moment arrived in the sixth minute.
It was the home team who got the early breakthrough as Carlos sprinted down the left flank, and cut the ball back for Sougou who made no mistake and gave Mumbai the lead.
As the match progressed, the Islanders grew in confidence and started dominating the proceedings. Hyderabad, on their part, kept creating sporadic chances.
In the 42nd minute, Mumbai had a great opportunity to double their lead. It took two goalline clearances by Asish Rai and a save by Kamaljit to stop the home team from doing so. Eventually, the first half ended with the scoreline reading 1-0.
Hyderabad were unlucky not to have equalised when Adil Khan slid in to meet a curling free kick but only managed to rattle the post. But then the ball took a wicked deflection off Pratik Chaudhari and seemed to fly towards the net. Luckily, Mumbai were let off the hook as Matthew Kilgallon was in the way.
Even as Mumbai tried to slow the game down, Hyderabad, desperate for an equaliser, kept mounting the pressure and probing the home side's defence. The Islanders then found themselves in deep waters as Sarthak Golui was shown a second yellow and had to march off.
With a man down, Jorge Costa’s side began sitting deep in their own half and tried to maintain their slender lead. Within all this, against the run of play, Mumbai found a breather as Bidyananda Singh’s long pass from the deep found Sougou. The 35-year-old forward saw Kamaljit off the line and lifted the ball over the Hyderabad goalkeeper with precision to make it 2-0 in the 78th minute.
Three minutes later, however, Bobo pulled a goal back for the Hyderabad to make things interesting. As the match set up an intriguing finish, the last 10 minutes saw the game becoming more open. Both teams attacked, but in the end, it finished 2-1.