The win made the Islanders the first Indian club to win an AFC Champions League match.

Mumbai City FC scripted history, as they became the first-ever Indian club to win a game in the AFC Champions League, after beating Iraq’s Air Force Club 2-1. The Islanders found themselves behind after a good showing for the first 45 minutes. Substitute Hammadi Ahmed sniffed out the slightest of chances and turned the ball into the back of the net. Diego Mauricio’s return to the starting XI was welcome, as he equalised and got Mumbai City their first-ever AFC Champions League goal.

Ahmed Jahouh turned into the all-important conduit shortly afterward. His 75th-minute corner found its way to Rahul Bheke and the centre-back scored from a beautiful header. With 15 minutes to go, the Islanders resorted to some dogged defending, as they held on to their lead and beat Air Force Club to clinch a record-breaking three points on a memorable AFC Champions League night.

Let us review Khel Now’s ratings for the Mumbai City players for this ACL outing.

Phurba Lachenpa – 7.0

Conceded an unlucky goal by a whisker but was pretty reliable otherwise. He nullified most of the high balls that Air Force Club put inside the box. Picked up a yellow card for wasting time in the later stages. He made five saves and was crucial to Mumbai’s historic win.

Amey Ranawade – 6.5

Almost looked like he never went out of the starting XI for his side as he was rampant down the right flank. Combined well with Lallianzuala Chhangte, making two interceptions and one tackle. Was subbed off for Mehtab in the 89th minute. 

Mourtada Fall – 7.0

The towering Senegalese marshalled the defence to the best of his capabilities. He lunged in with some splendid last-ditch sliding challenges to restrict the Iraqi attackers. Made a whopping 11 clearances and competed in 10 aerial duels, out of which he won four. 

Rahul Bheke – 7.5

The experienced Indian international demonstrated his set-piece threat once again as he headed the Islanders into the lead in the 75th minute from Jahouh’s corner. Was defensively solid as well. He won both of his aerial duels and his only ground duel.

Mandar Rao Dessai – 6.5

Resolute showcase from the Indian full-back as he was vigilant down the left wing. Could not win either of his only aerial or ground duels, but made up with 50 touches on the ball.

Lalengmawia Ralte – 7.0

Another commendable display in the middle of the park saw him get 62 touches on the ball. Though he played in his natural ball-winning role, Lalengmawia still managed an 89% passing accuracy that often relieved the pressure on Mumbai City, as they were building up play or defending offensive moves.  

Ahmed Jahouh – 7.5

The Moroccan maestro helped Mumbai City regulate the tempo of the game. He launched a spectacular ball into the opposition box for Bheke to head home. Saw much more of the ball than his Indian understudy. Had 94 touches, made three key passes and won six of his eight ground duels. 

Vikram Pratap Singh – 6.5

Had Mumbai City’s best chance on target in the first half, but his effort was blocked by an outstanding stretch from Ahmed Ibrahim. Completed one successful take-on and all four of his passes before he went off for Brad Inman at half-time.

Lallianzuala Chhangte – 6.5

The otherwise skillful and pacy winger was kept quiet by the physical duo of Roderick Miller and Dhurdham Ismail. Despite the difference in physicality being very evident, Chhangte completed all 20 of his passes and displayed very prompt decision-making.  

Bipin Singh – 6

Apart from his visibly physical battle with Ahmed Ibrahim towards the end, the winger was mostly uninvolved in attack. Completed 12 out of 20 passes and managed only 28 touches on the ball.  

Diego Mauricio- 7.5

Very much the physical presence that Mumbai City missed in their first game. Bullied Ali Kazem, forcing him to bring him down within the penalty box and scored the Islanders’ first-ever ACL goal from the resultant spot-kick. Came off for Vinit Rai in the 82nd minute after scoring from only three shots on target and 25 touches. 

Substitutes 

Brad Inman – 6.5

Very involved in attack as he played in his natural No. 8 hybrid role. Played only 44 minutes and was subbed off for Raynier Fernandes in the 89th minute with an 80% passing accuracy. 

Vinit Rai- 6.5

Helped Mumbai retain their lead and did not have much to contribute as he got seven touches on the ball.

Raynier Fernandes – N/A

The experienced Indian midfielder only got one touch on the ball, but helped his team get the job done.

Mehtab Singh- N/A

Replaced Amey Ranawade in the 89th minute as Des Buckingham looked to retain the lead and he performed his duties to perfection.

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