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Mumbai FC rise to the top

Updated on: 03 March,2024 07:20 AM IST  |  New Delhi

City team and Odisha are table-toppers as Guarrotxena’s late double powers Islanders to 3-2 victory over Punjab

Mumbai FC rise to the top

Mumbai City players celebrate a goal against Punjab in Delhi on Saturday. Pic/Mumbai City Fc

Iker Guarrotxena struck a double late in the match as Mumbai City FC joined league leaders Odisha FC at the top spot with a hard-fought 3-2 victory against the high-flying Punjab FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.

Goals, the only difference

Despite both teams having 35 points each, Odisha FC (+15) hold the edge against the Islanders (+14) in the standings due to a slightly better goal difference currently as Mumbai City FC continue their pursuit of their defence of the league shield.

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Guarrotxena scored in the 53rd and 64th minutes after Punjab FC had taken the lead via Wilmar Jordan Gil in the 39th minute after Madih Talal (37th minute) had neutralized Lallianzuala Chhangte’s goal in the 16th minute. The reverse fixture between Mumbai City FC and Punjab FC was a gripping 2-1 affair where the latter had blown away a one-goal lead to lose all three points back in the City of Dreams.

This evening was a repeat of the same, with the duo of Madih Talal and Wilmar Jordan Gill striking once each within two minutes to help the ISL debutants head into the halfway mark of the match with a slender 2-1 lead.

10th win of the season

However, the Islanders answered with their January transfer market recruit and former FC Goa talisman Guarrotxena bagging a brace in the second session of the match to notch their 10th victory of this ISL season.

Starting the proceedings in the 16th minute was Bipin Singh, who made his 100th appearance for Mumbai City FC in the match, becoming the first-ever Indian player to do so for the Islanders.

As the Islanders pierced through the Punjab FC defence with some serious pace, Bipin unleashed an effort that the opposition goalkeeper Ravi Kumar blocked, but the rebound led to Lallianzuala Chhangte who netted it past the home team custodian with extreme ease.

Tables turned 20 minutes later though, with Punjab FC matching the Mumbai City FC offence toe-to-toe. 

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