ISL 2023-24: Mumbai City FC beat Chennaiyin FC to bolster claim in League Shield race

Chennai, Feb 23 (IANS): A brace by substitute Bipin Singh helped Mumbai City FC join table-toppers Odisha FC (31 points each) with a 2-0 victory against Chennaiyin FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Friday. The Juggernauts continue to hold the first place due to their superior goal difference (+14), as compared to Mumbai City FC (+12).

Bipin Singh scored late in the second half, first in the 71st minute and then doubled the lead in the added time (90+1) as Mumbai City FC

On Friday night, both Farukh Choudhary and Lallianzuala Chhangte came touchingly close to scoring a goal against their former teams. Farukh, searching for his second goal of the season, spotted a fantastic opportunity when Phurba Lachenpa advanced from his position to halt an onrushing Chennaiyin FC attack at the brink of the halftime whistle.

The attacker launched a sublime effort targeting the top corner of the net, but the Islanders’ fullback Akash Mishra rushed to the goal line to make a last-ditch headed clearance that kept Mumbai City FC at bay going into the break.

Later in the second half, Lazar Cirkovic fouled Mumbai City FC defender Thaer Krouma inside the box to hand a spot-kick to the visitors. Chhangte stepped up to take it but tumbled terribly, launching an effort that flew straight into the stands, not even troubling Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.

However, just as it appeared that the Islanders might be out of ideas, Petr Kratky unleashed his trump card Bipin Singh off the bench, and the winger made all the inferences in the final 20-odd minutes. Displaying his skills, he caught the Marina Machans completely off guard, Bipin initiated a solo effort from the left side of the box with the ball finding its way past Majumder pretty comfortably to open the scoring in the 71st minute.

That opened the gateway for the Islanders further, with Bipin now hitting strongly on the counter, exploiting the spaces left vacant by Chennaiyin FC in the back. As the game entered added time of the second half, he received a pass from their new Spanish recruit Iker Guarrotxena on the move, before drilling it into the bottom right corner to seal the game in their favour in all ways possible.

Chennaiyin FC will return to ISL action on February 26, whereas Mumbai City FC’s next clash will be against FC Goa on February 28.


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Title: ISL 2023-24: Mumbai City FC beat Chennaiyin FC to bolster claim in League Shield race

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