The win helped the Islanders consolidate their position at the top of the ISL 2020-21 points table.
Mumbai City FC asserted their dominance by edging out ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0 in a hotly-contested ISL game at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday. With the win, the Islanders helped themselves five points clear at the top of the standings over the second-placed Mariners.
Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a 69th-minute stunner for Mumbai. The ex-Kerala Blasters man’s effort was enough for the Islanders to get past their rivals. His goal was the first time that ATKMB conceded from open play this season. With the win, his team also extended their unbeaten run to nine games.
Sergio Lobera made two changes to Mumbai’s eleven for the match. Cy Goddard came in for the suspended Ahmed Jahouh while Bartholomew Ogbeche was a surprise inclusion ahead of Adam Le Fondre.
Meanwhile, ATKMB coach Antonio Habas rang in three changes with Manvir Singh starting upfront. Glan Martins paired Javier Hernandez in midfield with the latter making a comeback after last featuring against Odisha on December 3.
Mumbai City were dominant in the first session in terms of possession play. However, despite some nervy moments in the game, ATKMB were lucky to walk into the breather having the scores level. The opening half was all about Mumbai’s attack vs ATKMB’s defence. But despite failing to register a single shot on target, the Mariners defended resolutely to keep the scoreline goalless.
Sergio Lobera’s side forced an early scare on ATKMB’s defence with their usual pace and high pressing game, creating an opportunity during the 8th minute. Hernan Santana initiated the move and found Mandar Rao Dessai. The full-back kept his composure and squared the ball to Hugo Boumous. However, the Frenchman’s shot was straight at keeper Arindam Bhattacharja.
Mumbai City FC were inches away from taking the lead when Ogbeche diverted the ball from a goalmouth scramble. Luckily, Arindam was at the right place at the right moment to prevent the ball from entering the net with a goal-line save.
ATKMB came back strongly in the second half and created a couple of chances. Edu Garcia had a big part to play. First he crashed his free kick from outside the box on target but Mumbai custodian Amrinder Singh dived full-stretch to keep it out of goal. Garcia then saw his effort from open play hit the woodwork when he was set through by substitute Pranoy Halder.
Mumbai finally managed to get past Arindam in the 69th minute. As mentioned already, it was Ogbeche who produced a brilliant finish to give his side a deserved lead. The assist was registered by Boumous. The Frenchman traded a one-two with Santana and played back-heel pass to Ogbeche, who made his run and curled his effort into the top-right corner.
Mumbai’s Mourtada Fall stood tall late in the game with vital blocks to deny Sandesh Jhingan and David Williams from finding the equaliser for ATKMB.