ISL: Mumbai breaks Chennaiyin’s winning streak

A 60th minute penalty scored by Achille Emana gave Mumbai City FC its second win of the season.

Published : Dec 10, 2017 23:07 IST , Mumbai

 Mailson Alves of Chennaiyin FC chests the ball as Achilles Emana closes on, at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.
Mailson Alves of Chennaiyin FC chests the ball as Achilles Emana closes on, at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

Mailson Alves of Chennaiyin FC chests the ball as Achilles Emana closes on, at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

Cameroonian playmaker Achille Emana mesmerised Chennaiyin FC with his touch, vision and skill, and almost single-handedly lifted Mumbai City FC to a 1-0 victory on Sunday at the Mumbai Football Arena. Emana’s clever penalty kick was the only goal scored on the night; the victory, Mumbai’s second in five matches, moved it to the fifth spot on the points table.

Emana converted the penalty in the 60th minute by foxing the goalkeeper. Karanjit Singh became committed to a dive on one side of the goalpost, while Emana softly tapped in the ball to the other side. A roar rose all around.

Match Centre

The penalty itself had been caused in part by the twisting and turning movements of Mumbai’s forward Balwant Singh. Chennaiyin’s Mailson Alves got into a tangle with Singh, who fell as if tripped; the referee duly pointed to the penalty spot.

Chennaiyin wouldn’t have been trailing then had it not messed up its chances in the first half. On one occasion, the ball had fallen in the right place for Mohammed Rafi to attempt a goal-bound stroke. Thoi Singh had also gained a chance to score; his attempt off a rebound flew wide.

Read: Jamshedpur FC suffers first loss of the season

John Gregory, the Chennaiyin coach, had sprung a surprise on the home team by keeping Jeje Lalpekhlua, Raphael Augusto (the two were brought on later) and Jaime Gavilan on the bench. Mumbai’s defensive formation needed to deal with new faces with new skills in Nigerian Jude Nworuh, Slovenian Rene Mihelic, and Rafi. Nworuh troubled the rivals, but the others did not.

Achille Emana celebrates after scoring what turned out to be the only goal of the night. Photo: AP

Chennaiyin’s first look at goal was off a free kick. A foul on Jude resulted in Davinder Singh getting a yellow for a body block. However, Rene’s shot hit the wall of players in blue placed in the line of the shot. Later, Mumbai had its own look-in. A snap header by Everton Santos tested goalkeeper Karanjit.

Missed chances

The crunching tackles and leaping challenges for aerial ball in the first half had led to frequent fouls. Defenders launched into long clearances across the field. Within this scenario, Chennaiyin kept applying pressure on the home team’s defence. Nworuh got space for a floated pass from the left towards team-mate Mohammed Rafi, whose leaping header to connect was mistimed.

Rafi came close to scoring with a leaping header, moving in position to meet the ball lifted into the goalmouth from the right by Thoi. But Amrinder Singh, the Mumbai custodian, was in the right position to collect, and made no mistake. Thoi came to close to scoring in the second half. His flying volley, however, went wide of the goal.

It was a night of missed chances for Chennaiyin, which remains in third place on the points table despite the loss, with three wins and two loses in five games.

  • Mumbai City FC 1 (Achille Emana pen 60) bt Chennaiyin FC 0.
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