Mumbai City FC's new big buy Amine Chermiti scored a late match-winner as the team defeated Kerala Blasters by a lone goal in the Hero Indian Super League on Thursday night.

Latching onto Souvik Chakrabarti's pass from the right, the Tunisian came up with a superb finish in the 82 minute to silence the home support in the Nehru Stadium.

Four minutes into the game, Chermiti was nudged by Gianni Zuiverloon inside the box but his appeal for a penalty was turned down by the referee.

The visitor was clearly superior in the opening half. The Mumbai boys were fast and they moved forward with a series of short passes that put the home defence under pressure. Midfielder Diego Oliveira, in particular, came up with a steady stream of crosses from the right.

AS IT HAPPENED: Mumbai City vs Kerala Blasters

Mumbai's centre backs kept the Blasters' striker Bartholomew Ogbeche quite at the other end. Modou Sougou, who scored three times in a 30-minute spell when Mumbai hosted the Blasters late last year, started the game on the bench.

The Blasters huffed and puffed initially but appeared to settle down after the half hour mark. They enjoyed a couple of chances too towards the end of the first half. One of them, a Jairo Rodrigues header off a freekick, was pushed out of danger by goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and another was sent wide by Moustapha Gning.

And shortly after the hour mark, the home side's Jessel Allan Carneiro's blistering shot, off a corner, almost kissed the bar as it went over.


Ogbeche came close to finding the equaliser in the dying minutes. A nice turnaround, after latching onto a Sahal Abdul Samad's chip, was saved by a smart, diving Amrinder.

While the result meant Mumbai starts its season with a win, it was also its first-ever win over Kerala Blasters in Kochi.

The result: Kerala Blasters 0 lost to Mumbai City FC 1 (Amine Chermiti 82')