ISL 2023-24: Mumbai City beats Odisha FC 2-1, takes another step to defend League Winners Shield

Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Lallianzuala Chhangte scored for Mumbai City FC as it beat Odisha FC 2-1 to bolster its chances of defending the League Winners Shield, at the Mumbai Football Arena on Monday.

Published : Apr 08, 2024 21:35 IST , Mumbai - 3 MINS READ

Lallianzuala Chhangte of Mumbai City FC celebrates scoring the winning goal against Odisha FC.
Lallianzuala Chhangte of Mumbai City FC celebrates scoring the winning goal against Odisha FC. | Photo Credit: Focus Sports/ISL

Lallianzuala Chhangte of Mumbai City FC celebrates scoring the winning goal against Odisha FC. | Photo Credit: Focus Sports/ISL

Mumbai City FC sent Odisha FC and FC Goa out of the race of becoming the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 League Winner by defeating the Juggernauts 2-1 at the Mumbai Football Arena (MFA) tonight.

With 47 points in 21 games, MCFC is a step closer to defending its title this season, and can only be beaten to that by the second-placed Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG), which has accumulated 42 points from 20 matches so far.

Meanwhile, Odisha FC is stuck at 39 points from 21 encounters, and will be aiming for a top-two finish that can guarantee it a semifinal place when it takes on NorthEast United FC on April 13 for its final league game of the campaign.

For the Islanders, the entire equation boils down to the last league match, which is incidentally against the Mariners on April 15. Additionally, FC Goa (39 points) too has bowed out of the competition to finish at the top of the standings as a consequence of this win by the Islanders.

Mumbai City FC could become the ISL League Winner even before the aforementioned game provided that the Mohun Bagan Super Giant drop points in its coming clash against Bengaluru FC on April 11, which will make the Islanders’ current tally of 47 unreachable for the Antonio Lopez Habas-coached side.

The game hung fairly in balance in the initial 20-odd minutes of the game, but Chhangte produced an absolute moment of magic to open the account for his side and also that of his Argentine counterpart Jorge Pereyra Diaz.

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Having received the ball near the touchline on the right flank, Chhangte burst into the box, taking on Spanish defender Carlos Delgado, tricking him to the right, before dropping his shoulder and cutting the ball on the left side to square up a pass for Diaz at the centre of the goal. The strike tapped the ball inside the net in the 22nd minute.

Unfortunately for Mumbai City FC, it couldn’t relish that glory for far too long, as an error by goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa equalised the scores merely three minutes later. Odisha FC seemed keen to push back and adopted a high pressing routine straightaway after Diaz’s strike. That built pressure on Lachenpa, as the custodian went array with his distribution and ended up playing the ball straight to the feet of Brazilian striker Diego Mauricio. The seasoned forward wasn’t going to let go of this chance, as he hammered the ball home to restore parity.

Chhangte continued to be a menace for the Odisha FC backline as the first half drew to an end. He joined hands with Lalengmawia Ralte to test the Juggernauts’ goal and was a threat from set-pieces too.

His moment of reckoning came in the 61st minute, as the Islanders crowded the Odisha FC box with several attackers and yielded positive results of the same. Akash Mishra sent in a cracking delivery for Diaz inside the box, which the Argentine chipped in for Chhangte who was placed beside him near the goal. Chhangte deposited the ball in the top right corner, bringing home this crucial win for Mumbai City FC.

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