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Super Cup: Mumbai City beat Chennaiyin FC, Qualifies for Semi-finals

The highlight of the match was Mumbai City goalkeeper Phurba Tempa Lachenpa’s performance.

Super Cup: Mumbai City beat Chennaiyin FC, Qualifies for Semi-finals

Mumbai City qualify for Super Cup semi-finals 


The Bridge Desk

Published: 21 Jan 2024 5:07 PM GMT

Mumbai City FC rode Hmingthanmawia’s strike in the first half to defeat Chennaiyin FC 1-0 in a Group C match and make it to the semi-finals of the Kalinga Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium Main Pitch in Bhubaneswar on Sunday, January 21, 2024.

The highlight of the match was Mumbai City goalkeeper Phurba Tempa Lachenpa’s performance as he made numerous saves to secure the win for his side.

Mumbai City thus finished at the top of their group with nine points after winning all their three games. Chennaiyin FC had to settle for the second spot with four points from three matches, including one win, one draw and one loss each. Petr Kratky’s Mumbai City will either face Odisha FC or FC Goa in their last four clash on Wednesday, January 25, 2024.

It was a tightly-contested affair considering that both the sides had a good opportunity to advance from the group to the semi-finals. Mumbai City FC started the match with six points from two matches, including two wins, while Chennaiyin had four points from a win and a draw. Given these standings, Mumbai City FC needed only a draw to secure their advancement to the knockout stages. Chennaiyin, in contrast, faced the more pressing need for a victory to move ahead in the competition.

Understandably, then, it was Chennaiyin who started on an attacking note and created quite a few chances inside the first 20 minutes. But their strikers’ lack of sharpness and profligacy meant that the chances were squandered. While Jordan Murray couldn’t keep his header on target, Connor Shields got a brilliant chance after Rafael Crivellaro released a perfectly-timed through ball. But Mumbai City goalkeeper Lachenpa came off his line to make a save.

Mumbai City, on the other hand, were clinical in front of the goal and took the lead in the 24th minute. Yoell Van Niff floated in a free-kick at the far post from the right and an unmarked Hmingthanmawia headed past Chennaiyin goalkeeper Samik Mitra easily.

Stung by the reverse, Chennaiyin tried their best to score an equaliser but was thwarted by Lachenpa time and again. Mumbai City FC also displayed strong defensive organisation, maintaining their formation and efficiently handling Chennaiyin’s offensive efforts without much difficulty.

A key issue for Chennaiyin was their predictable strategy; most of their attacks involved crosses into the box, and they lacked variety in their approach. This made it easier for Mumbai City FC to defend, as they were largely untroubled by any penetrating moves through the middle and could focus on intercepting or clearing the crosses.

Despite their efforts, Chennaiyin did forge a significant opportunity around the 60-minute mark. Jordan Murray managed to rise above the Mumbai City defenders and direct a header towards goal, only to be denied by Lachenpa, who made an excellent save at close range.

Chennaiyin had another chance in the 80th minute when substitute Irfan Yadwad showcased his ability with a skillful header, aiming to level the score. However, Lachenpa once again proved to be a formidable barrier, pulling off a spectacular save to maintain Mumbai City FC’s lead. Lachenpa’s series of crucial saves played a pivotal role in keeping Chennaiyin at bay and preserving Mumbai City FC’s lead.

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