ISL, As it Happened: Chennaiyin FC beats Mumbai City FC 1-0 to make playoffs

Catch all the updates, commentary and score from the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 match between Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC.

Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC had played out a 0-0 draw in this season's reverse fixture in Chennai.   -  ISL

Hello and welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Indian Super League (ISL) match between Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC, which will be played at the Mumbai Football Arena.

 

So another ISL game comes to an end. Thanks for tuning in!

This is arguably the greatest comeback in the history of ISL. Chennaiyin FC was languishing at the bottom when Owen Coyle took over and now he's taken his side into the playoffs. What a turnaround! Lucian Goian scoring the winner against his former team Mumbai City FC was the story of the day.

As we sign off for the night, watch the Chennaiyin FC duo of Dhanpal Ganesh and Edwin Vanspaul talk about their football journey to the ISL, answer the difficult choice (!!) of picking between Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth and reveal the worst dancer in the dressing room.

CHENNAIYIN FC QUALIFIES FOR THE 2019-20 ISL PLAYOFFS!!!

90+5' CORNER FOR MUMBAI! Vishal Kaith should have done better. Amrinder Singh is coming forward. And Chennai clears away the corner. Amrinder is sprinting back but the last man Bipin keeps it 1-0. FULL-TIME!!!

90+3' BOOKING! Diego Carlos goes into the referee's book for swinging his arm at Germanpreet Singh. This is his seventh yellow card of the season.

90+1' YELLOW CARD!!! Chennaiyin FC's Rafael Crivellaro is booked for arguing too much with the referee. Just some late time wasting.

90' Five minutes of atoppage time to be added on at the end of the second half! Chennaiyin FC is few minutes away from yet another ISL playoff.

88' Chennai players are now happy to just sit back and defend. Mumbai putting numbers forward. However, the team's finishing has been poor all night. 

83' GOALLLLLL!!!!!!! GOIAN SCORES!!! Crivellaro corner, Valskis assist and a Lucian Goian goal. Finally a great set-piece and an even better execution. Goian scores against his former employer and is unsure whether to celebrate or not. Replays show that Mumbai defender Pratik might have provided the assist.

82' SUBSTITUTION! Bidyananda Singh is the player who comes in!

81' CORNER FOR CHENNAI! Thapa takes it. Another set piece is wasted tonight as Valskis commits a foul.

78' YELLOW CARD! Eli Sabia is booked for a shirt pull on Chermiti. Both teams have missed one sureshot goal scoring opportunity each so far.

77' VERY CLOSE!!! Germanpreet Singh should have scored there. Or at least Thoi Singh! Rowllin Borges lost the ball in midfield and Chennai was on the counter. Crivellaro with the pass to Thoi who could have finished it off himself. But he decided to pass it to Germanpreet who hit it straight at Amrinder who didn't have to move much.

76' CHANGE! Mumbai City's first of the night. Bipin Singh comes in for Modou Sougou. Costa and Coyle are literally shouting at their players.

73' Still no shot on goal from Chennaiyin FC. Mumbai has two now. The away side is struggling despite having the one man advantage. Vishal Kaith has made two good saves, while Amrinder Singh hasn't been troubled much tonight.

68' THE CHANCE OF THE NIGHT!!! CHERMITI MAKES A MESS OF IT! Great ball from midfield by Larbi and Chermiti just had to tuck it in. But as he looks to curl it past Kaith, he ends up hitting it way off target. That should have been Mumbai 1-0.

66' SUBSTITUTION! Germanpreet Singh comes in for Edwin Vanspaul, while, a few minutes earlier, Dragos made way for Thoi Singh. Mumbai hasn't made a change so far.

64' YELLOW CARD! Rafique is booked for a poor tackle on Chhangte. FREE-KICK FOR CHENNAIYIN FC! It's still goalless after the set-piece.

62' TACKLE! A good one from Eli Sabia. Chermiti went forward with a threatening move there. A 10-man Mumbai side is dominating Chennai now.

59' WHAT A CHANCE!!! It was a Mumbai City FC corner and Mohamed Larbi took it as usual. The ball went to Chermiti whose header was cleared at the goalline by Chennaiyin FC forward Nerijus Valskis. That was very close!

54' RED CARD!!! SOURAV DAS IS OFF! Rafique what have you done?! Sourav took one for the team after Mohammed Rafique lost the ball to Chhangte in midfield. The Chennaiyin winger rushed forward and was one-on-one with Amrinder before being brought down by Sourav from behind.

52' YELLOW CARD!!! SHOULD THAT HAVE BEEN RED????!!!! Vishal Kaith was one on one with Amine Chermiti and the Chennaiyin keeper went in for a double-footed challenge on the Mumbai forward. That was a bad tackle and Kaith could have been off on some other day.

50' YELLOW CARD! Chennaiyin FC's Jerry Lalrinzuala goes into the referee's book for a silly tackle on Modou Sogou.

48' FREE-KICK FOR MUMBAI! Eli Sabia takes out Amine Chermiti from the back. Chennaiyin FC clears away the set-piece with ease.

THE SECOND HALF BEGINS!

One shot on target so far. That came from the boot of Mumbai City FC winger Diego Carlos. Both teams have created chances but once again the finishing is the problem this ISL season.

Chennaiyin FC has a slightly better overall possession at 53%. It also has the better pass percentage. However, there's nothing to separate the two sides when it comes to attacking stats.

One of the two teams might be forty-five minutes away from making the 2019-20 season's playoffs. Stay tuned!

THE FIRST HALF COMES TO AN END!

45+4' CLOSE!!! After a short pinball game inside the box the Chennaiyin FC defender somehow clear the ball away.

45' Four minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half! SAVE! Vishal Kaith gets to a Sourav cross first.

43' OFFSIDE! Valskis with a free header from close range but he was miles offside. Borges ran back in time to set up the trap. Edwin with a good cross but the scoreline stays 0-0.

41' INJURY! Both Sougou and Thapa are down. This is the third time this game that Mumbai forward Modou Sougou was hit on the head while going for a header. Chennaiyin FC's Anirudh Thapa is also writhing in pain. Both players are fine and will continue playing.

38' THROW-IN FOR MUMBAI! It's from a good position. Rafique will take it. Chermiti receives it and makes a dangerous run forward. However, Edwin intercepts him and passes the ball back to keeper Kaith who gets it away. 

34' FOUL! Renthlei brings down Diego Carlos. Mumbai wins a free-kick. Subhasish Bose will take it. No goals in the first 30 minutes as Paulo Machado, Mumbai City's captain who was ruled out of the season, watches on from the stands.

31' CORNER FOR CHENNAI! Amrinder stays on the pitch. Dragos will take the kick. And Eli Sabia's header goes way off target. Indian national football team coach Igor Stimac is in the crowd by the way.

28' INJURY! That was a great chance to score for Chennaiyin FC. But Mumbai's skipper and keeper Amrinder Singh put his body on the line against Jerry. He took a shot to his head from Jerry's knee and is bleeding now.

25' WHAT A CHANCE!!! Chermiti should have scored there. Free header but Renthlei did well to block his view. A few moments earlier, Kaith hadn't collected a Carlos shot cleanly. However, the rebound fell to Goian who cleared it away.

24' ANOTHER CORNER FOR MUMBAI! Larbi takes the set-piece once again and it falls directly into the hands of Vishal Kaith.

21' OFFSIDE! It's Chermiti this time. This was well off. End-to-end stuff from both teams so far. Mumbai is keeping up with the in-form Chennaiyin's pace.

19' SHOT! Rafique with a shot from a difficult angle. The spin on the ball almost troubled Kaith who put in a dive. Some deflection on it from a Chennaiyin defender. Don't know whether he was going for a shot or a cross there. CORNER FOR MUMBAI!

17' Both Jorge Costa and Owen Coyle have looked very animated tonight. Both of them want the win so badly. And Mumbai forward Sougou goes down for a second time this game. No card for Jerry.

15' CORNER FOR MUMBAI! Larbi will take it. Good punch from Vishal Kaith. The ball has gone a long way outside the box. Mumbai has to start the move all over again now.

12' OFFSIDE! This time it's a Chennaiyin player. Brilliant offside trap by Rowllin Borges. Chhangte was just millimetres offside though.

9' CHANCE! Long ball to Diego Carlos from midfield but Chennaiyin defender Eli Sabia gets to it first. But Carlos is still in pursuit of the ball. Renthlei comes to Sabia's rescue as he clears the ball away.

6' OFFSIDE! Modou Sougou was a little too eager to go forward there. However, replays show that it was a close call.

5' The Mumbai Football Arena is absolutely buzzing. Will the support tonight guide the home team to victory?

2' CHANCE! Dragos almost made an impact straightaway. He moved forward with intent but his low cross into the box was intercepted by Pratik. Crivellaro was right behind him.

AND WE'RE UNDERWAY!

WINNER TAKES ALL! There was a late change in the Chennaiyin FC playing XI as Andre Schembri was replaced by Dragos.

The match will begin in a few moments!

READ | ISL: The Owen Coyle effect and Chennaiyin's transformation

After a barren run in front of goal in the current season, Chennaiyin pulled the trigger in late November and announced Owen Coyle’s appointment in the first week of December. Since then, there has been a dramatic transformation - from the mood around the club to its fortunes in the league.

 

While we count down to kick-off, take 12 minutes out to watch the Chennaiyin FC duo of Dhanpal Ganesh and Edwin Vanspaul talk about their football journey to the ISL, answer the difficult choice (!!) of picking between Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth and reveal the worst dancer in the dressing room.

REMINDER: 1) If Mumbai City FC wins tonight, it will go through to the ISL 2019-20 playoffs.

2) If Chennaiyin FC wins tonight, it will go through to the ISL 2019-20 playoffs.

3) If tonight's game ends as a draw, Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC and Odisha FC will all still be in playoff contention.

- TEAM LINE-UPS -

Mumbai City XI: Amrinder Singh(C)(G), Pratik Chaudhari, Mato Grgic, Subhasish Bose, Mohammed Rafique, Sourav Das, Rowllin Borges, Mohamed Larbi, Diego Carlos, Modou Sougou, Amine Chermiti.

COACH: Jorge Costa.

Chennaiyin XI: Vishal Kaith(G), Laldinliana Renthlei, Lucian Goian(C), Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Edwin Vanspaul, Anirudh Thapa, Rafael Crivellaro, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Dragos, Nerijus Valskis.

COACH: Owen Coyle.

- MATCH PREVIEW -

The one match in hand for Chennaiyin FC, before its ISL season six campaign comes to a close, may calm nerves in the visitor’s dugout and improve its performance against Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Friday night. The home side, meanwhile, faces a win-at-all-costs situation in its concluding league game.

Victory for fourth-placed MCFC, coached by Jorge Costa, will take it to the ISL play-offs. Chennaiyin, in fifth place heading into its penultimate tie, won’t mind a draw in a tough away match. The visitor travels to Guwahati next to face NorthEastUnited FC and a win there will be enough to seal a berth in the play-offs.

Multiple options

MCFC is at full strength for this crucial game, giving Costa multiple options. The blues attack has forwards Modou Sougou of Senegal and Amine Chermiti of Tunisia as focal points. Diego Carlos, Mohammed Larbi, Bidyananda Singh, and Rowlin Borges also possess goal-scoring skills.

CFC will have to work over-time to keep MCFC’s marauders in check. If the visitor’s defensive formation under coach Owen Coyle can handle the heat, the contest to control the ball will be engrossing in midfield, where CFC looks better equipped.

Potent threat

Lithuanian forward Nerijus Valskis — 13 goals, four assists and 41 shots on goal in 16 leagues appearances in his debut season for CFC — remains a threat to any opponent, especially MCFC whose backline has a tendency to switch off. With captain Amrinder Singh in goal, the blues have let in the most goals among the first four squads — 28 against 25 scored.

RELATED | Lucian Goian earns former team-mate Amrinder's praise ahead of reunion

Replying to a query about no players ruled out due to card suspensions, Costa observed: “We still have some injuries, it will go on till the end of the season. It feels good to have more options for the last game of the season, the most important match for us. This is one game we want to win, we need to win.”

CFC coach Coyle, said: “in terms of fighting for our lives, we have been doing that for three months, since I came to the club. Everybody thought we had no chance, we have been under pressure to win the last 10 games.” The visitor won the five of its last six games, drew one and is on a hot streak.

- Match broadcast details -

The match can be viewed live on Star Sports 2 and 2 HD from 7.30 pm, while Hotstar will provide live streaming online.