Mumbai City FC opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) table is it thrashed Jamshedpur FC 4-2 at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday.
The victory, Mumbai City FC's third on the trot, saw it move to 12 points while Jamshedpur remained second with eight.
AS IT HAPPENED |ISL 2021-22, MCFC vs JFC HIGHLIGHTS: Mumbai City beats Jamshedpur 4-2 to remain on top
The defending champion got off to a cracking start as Cassio Gabriel scored his first ISL goal in the third minute. It was a goal that came from a classic training ground routine as Ahmed Jahouh played short a corner quickly to Cassinho at the edge of the box.
The Brazilian made room for himself and unleashed a right-footed drive from 30 meters that sneaked past Jamshedpur's keeper TP Rehenesh.
Cassio turned provider in the 17th minute with a relentless burst of pace. He chased down Eli Sabia into his box and then dispossessed his countryman before squaring it for Bipin Singh to tap the ball into an empty net.
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Mumbai City was absolutely bossing the game at this point and had over 60 per cent of ball possession, while Jamshedpur struggled to find a rhythm.
Igor Angulo joined the party seven minutes later as he struck with a classy finish. It was another goal that came from Mumbai City’s high press as Raynier Fernandes won the ball in midfield and played it to Cassio. The Brazilian crafted a finely weighted pass for Angulo, who worked the ball onto his favoured left foot and curled it past Rehenesh.
Jamshedpur, which did not start with its star strikers Nerijus Valskis and Jordan Murray, had chances far and few in the opening 45 but the side struggled to convert.
The second half, though, was a different tale. Komal Thatal picked up Greg Stewart’s pass and scored in the 48th minute to offer the Red Miners a lifeline. Eli Sabia further reduced the deficit in the 55th minute when he netted the third goal of his ISL career.
Jamshedpur FC looked a side infused with new verve and had everything to play for in the remaining 30-odd minutes. Owen Coyle's side created some terrific chances and came close on numerous occasions, but the third goal evaded them.
Mumbai City FC's substitute Ygor Catatau put the tie to bed in the 70th minute when he made the most of some poor defending from Narender Gahlot on the left flank and scored from the acutest of angles to make it 4-2.
The Islanders saw out the remainder of the game and staved off some interminable attacking from the Red Miners to seal the victory.