Two goals from foreigners, two assists from Indians and one point for each team - that’s how Mumbai City FC’s (MCFC) 1-1 draw with Jamshedpur FC (JFC) played out in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) on Monday.
The result sees MCFC, unbeaten in five games, remain on top of the ISL 2020-21 table with 13 points from six games while JFC moves to sixth with seven points.
JFC’s ace striker Nerijus Valsksis gave his side the dream start as he broke the deadlock in the ninth minute. Bartholomew Ogbeche, making his third start, played a poor backpass that was intercepted by Jackichand Singh. The pacy winger raced into the box before sweetly laying it for Valskis, who bagged his sixth goal of the season with a powerful low finish.
Ogbeche, however, made amends by netting the equaliser six minutes later. The Nigerian striker side-footed Bipin Singh’s pass to restore parity.
MCFC saw more of the ball, with nearly 70 per cent possession around the 20th-minute mark, but was unable to settle down owing to JFC’s relentless high press. Things seemed to be working as per plan for Owen Coyle’s JFC until disaster struck in the 28th minute when Aitor Monroy was sent off for a second yellow card.
The momentum almost immediately shifted in MCFC’s favour as Ogbeche had a chance to put his side ahead seconds after but failed to find the target. Sergio Lobera’s men had another wonderful chance to take the lead at the hour mark but Rowllin Borges, shockingly, missed an open goal from three yards out.
Bipin, who was the best Indian player on the pitch, was a menace down the left and created multiple chances for Ogbeche and co. but the forwards were found wanting with their wasteful finishing.
JFC custodian T. P. Rehenesh made a fantastic save to keep out an Ahmed Jahouh strike in the 83rd minute as the defensive duo of Peter Hartley and Stephen Eze put up an exceptional shift to contain the lethal MCFC attack and earn their side a crucial point despite being reduced to 10 men for the majority of the game. MCFC now has a six-day gap before it faces Hyderabad FC on Sunday, while JFC will take on NorthEast United on Friday.