Indian Super League: New day, old story for Mumbai City FC

Updated: Dec 06, 2019, 08:29 IST | Ashwin Ferro | Mumbai

Mumbai fails to end five-match winless run as they eke out 1-1 draw v Kerala.

Mumbai City FC players celebrate their goal against Kerala Blasters during the ISL match at the Mumbai Football Arena, Andheri yesterday. Pic/ISL
Mumbai City FC players celebrate their goal against Kerala Blasters during the ISL match at the Mumbai Football Arena, Andheri yesterday. Pic/ISL

Mumbai City FC (MCFC) received a huge fillip off the field with a takeover by Manchester City-owned City Football Group recently. But on the pitch, it was the same old story on Thursday as the hosts just about managed to hold Kerala Blasters FC (KBFC) 1-1 to register their first point at their Mumbai Football Arena home in Andheri in three outings this Indian Super League (ISL) season.

It was a dull first half that was only lit up momentarily by Kerala Blasters FC's Cameroonian striker Messi Bouli's spectacular bicycle kick (25th minute).

The lanky forward neatly received a cross from the left and even as the ball went into the air after his first touch, he sweetly executed the overhead kick towards the left of the MCFC goal.

Milestone for Amrinder

Fortunately for the hosts, custodian Amrinder Singh, playing his record 50th ISL match, was up to the task and dived to his right to palm the ball away in what would have otherwise been the goal of the tournament so far.

However, it was the visitors who drew first blood in the second half. And aptly, it was Messi again.
Teammate Jessel Carneiro's smart cutback was hammered first-time by Messi (75th min), and though Amrinder did well to get his hands to the ball, he couldn't stop it from entering the net.

The goal suddenly woke up MCFC and they responded in the very next minute even as the KBFC bench were still celebrating their opening goal. MCFC's Tunisian striker Anime Chermiti tapped in a rebound as the hosts heaved a sigh of relief.

MCFC coach Jorge Costa said he wants full points from matches going forward. "The players have done well but we have to do better and win more matches from now on," said the former Portugal international.

'Disappointing result'

Kerala FC midfielder and Hero of the Match, Jeakson Singh summed up the proceedings well. "It was a disappointing result for us," he said.

Though MCFC climbed one spot to sixth in the points table after seven games, they will need to do much more if they wish to finish in the top four to make it to the
knockouts.

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