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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

ISL: Mumbai City FC inches closer to League Shield

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Hyderabad: Mumbai City FC strengthened their position at the top of the table with a clinical 3-0 victory against Hyderabad FC at the Gachibowli Stadium here in the Indian Super League (ISL) match on Monday night.

The Islanders have gotten to 44 points from 20 games with this victory, five ahead of the second-placed Mohun Bagan Super Giant (39 from 19 matches).

The visitors swept aside the challenge by Hyderabad FC pretty convincingly, who must have been buoyant after notching their first win of the campaign following their 1-0 victory against Chennaiyin FC in their previous fixture.

However, the might of the Mumbai City FC frontline was flawless in their endeavours as they exploited spaces with ease inside the Hyderabad FC defensive line consistently in the game.

Vikram Partap Singh, who is the highest Indian goal-scorer with seven strikes to his name this season, turned the provider by rounding off a breath-taking counter by the Islanders in the 16th minute.

With Lallianzuala Chhangte storming ahead on the right flank, Vikram sliced open the Hyderabad FC backline with a sharp through-ball that the latter converted with slick finesse, sending it past goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani to open the account for the evening.

Forward Jorge Pereyra Diaz seemed eager to join the Mumbai City FC onslaught too. Diaz engaged in some quick one-two inside the box before aiming for the top corner of the net five minutes after Chhangte’s goal. The effort swirled over the posts, but ensured that Mumbai City FC kept pressing on the Hyderabad FC defence. Those efforts bore fruit in the 31st minute of the game though.

Interestingly, in spite of the presence of a gifted attacking unit, it was their centre-backs who joined hands to double their lead. Syrian defender Thaer Krouma turned slightly on the right before lobbing in a cross for Mehtab Singh on the far left post. The Indian central defender headed home the goal, helping Mumbai City FC go into the break high on confidence.

Vikram didn’t stop being a menace for the Hyderabad FC unit thereafter though. Just before the first half concluded, he hit a shot at goal that missed the target by a whisker, instead bouncing off the outside of the net.

The young attacker ensured that his contributions in the game didn’t simmer down towards the end either. As the 90th minute approached, Vikram earned a spot-kick, which Diaz stepped up to take and convert without breaking a sweat, slotting it on the bottom right corner to cap off a comfortable win for Mumbai City FC.

Mumbai City FC will play their next game against Odisha FC on April 8, whereas Hyderabad FC will be squaring off against FC Goa on April 5.

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