Leo Costa’s wonder strike earned Mumbai a point in Chennai…

Mumbai City put an end to their four-match losing run against Chennaiyin FC on Wednesday night when they came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with the defending champions at Marina Arena. Leo Costa found the net for the visitors two minutes from time after Jeje Lalpekhlua had handed Chennaiyin the lead on 50 minutes.

City hardly enjoyed possession as Maurizio Peluso, Jeje Lalpekhlua, and Raphael Augusto made a mockery out of City’s defending players for the better part of the ninety minutes. Speaking to the press after the clash, their coach Alexanre Giumaraes denied branding their draw a fortunate result as he alleged that they had deserved to produce a positive result despite being the second best team for a huge chunk of the game.

“I don’t think [we were fortunate to collect a point],’ retorted Guimaraes. “I think we [deserved to produce a result after we] made adjustments to the squad. From that moment, we started to play in the attacking half. Of course, sometimes, your back-line becomes a little bit vulnerable, but that is the risk you should take.

“We knew that the today’s game –the way it panned out in the first half – is a game that we cannot lose. I think that our game in the second half put us in a good position after we made adjustments. We played very well. We got our chances.

I think [the result] is fair. I think it’s a good point for us; maybe, for them, it’s not a good point. However, after winning the away game in Kolkata and getting a draw against the champions toward the end of the game. the confidence is now very high for my team.”

Whilst Chennaiyin’s substitutions killed the harmony in their buildup, City’s substitutions helped them not just retain their second position in the Indian Super League table but also cancel out table toppers Atletico de Kolkata’s one-point lead. The City manager heaped praise on his substitutes for the impact they had on the result.

“Like I said before, we took some risks,’ said the 56-year-old manager. “We put Jackichand [Singh] to open the pitch on the right side, so we got more and more width. With Leo [Costa] coming in, we had the ball on the ground more, and we started to move the ball better in midfield. We then went deeper with Thiago [Cunha] playing upfront. All the movement that we did was very good for the team to change the way we usually attack.”

City now travel to Guwahati as they take on NorthEast United on November 5, and their Costa Rican manager will hope to extend their two-game unbeaten run as he eyes a place in the play-off stages of the premium footballing tournament.

Photo © ISL Media

Report by Khel Now Correspondent from Chennai Praveen Paramasivan.