This is Sportstar's match blog/highlights of the ISL 2020-21 encounter between Kerala Blasters FC and Mumbai City FC which was played in Goa on Wednesday.
That brings us to the end of our ISL coverage for the day. We will be back tomorrow when NorthEast United FC takes on FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama. Here's the NEUFC vs FCG match preview. Until then, it is goodnight from us!
MATCH REPORT | ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City gets past Kerala Blasters to expand lead at the top
Mumbai City FC midfielder Cy Goddard claims the 'Winning Pass of the Game' honour for tonight's match against Kerala Blasters FC, while his teammate, goalkeeper and captain Amrinder Singh takes home the 'Player of the Match' award.
MCFC manager Sergio Lobera: This is a very important win for us. After the loss in the last game against NorthEast United FC, we have come back stronger. I'm extremely proud of my players for coming from behind and sealing the full three points. We deserved the result and I'm so happy. It's important for me to have a good squad. It's not only about having quality individual players. Rowllin Borges and Raynier Fernandes stepped up well in Ahmed Jahouh's absence. The entire team went on to show why they are on top of the ISL points table.
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KBFC head coach Kibu Vicuna: I think we played well. We created chances and dominated the best team in the competition at times. Costa (Nhamoinesu) said that (Adam le Fondre goal) was not a penalty. All these 50-50 decisions have not been going our way. We just need to keep working harder. In football, when you are in good form, you tend to get a string of good results even if you play bad. But for us, the extra bit of luck is just not there. I feel this season has been very cruel to us. We have to improve in defence. We had very good chances to score that second goal. Any team could have won tonight. But once again, it was us stuck at the wrong end.
Post-match reaction from both the camps coming up next.....
Bipin Singh's equaliser gave the Islanders hope tonight, and they've extended their lead over ATK Mohun Bagan at the top of the standings to six points. Meanwhile, the Tuskers stay at ninth with 15 points from 16 matches.
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Mumbai City FC, which missed several chances in the first half, pulled a goal back in the very first minute of the second. Adam le Fondre then added a second from the spot as MCFC defeated KBFC 2-1 at the GMC Stadium.
Kerala Blasters FC took the lead in the 27th minute of the match via a Sahal Abdul Samad corner. Vicente Gomez rose the highest inside the box after beating his marker and slammed a header past keeper Amrinder Singh.
AND IT'S FULL-TIME! FINAL SCORE: KERALA BLASTERS FC 1 - 2 MUMBAI CITY FC!!!
90+5' INJURY! MCFC keeper Amrinder Singh falls to the ground while trying to punch the ball away. He collided with KBFC's Costa Nhamoinesu. The Mumbai medical staff rush to the ground. There's a halt in play. A few more minutes of injury time might be added on now.
90+2' FEW MORE SUBSTITUTIONS! Seityasen Singh replaces Sahal Abdul Samad for Kerala Blasters, while Vikram Pratap Singh comes in for Hugo Boumous for Mumbai City.
90' Six minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the second half! Hugo Boumous receives a pass inside the box. But he is unable to get a shot away with his left foot. Goal-kick for Kerala Blasters FC.
88' BOOKING! The Mumbai substitute Mandar Rao Dessai who just came in receives a yellow card straightaway. He brings down another substitute Jeakson Singh.
86' TRIPLE CHANGE FOR MCFC! Manager Sergio Lobera has made a few like-for-like replacements. Cy Goddard, Adam le Fondre and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy have made way for Jackichand Singh, Bartholomew Ogbeche and Mandar Rao Dessai in the middle.
83' ANOTHER SET-PIECE FOR KBFC! Sahal Abdul Samad will take it as usual. He sends a good cross towards the far post. Mourtada Fall's failed clearance falls to Costa Nhamoinesu at a good position. But the Kerala centre-back handles the ball and concedes a free-kick to MCFC.
80' Mumbai City FC has been extremely lucky today. The team has committed so many fouls but Mourtada Fall is the only player from the side to be booked by the referee tonight.
77' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FINAL DRINKS BREAK OF THE MATCH!
74' FREE-KICK FOR KBFC! Sahal Abdul Samad is fouled and he himself will take the resultant set-piece. He fires the ball straight into the wall as MCFC regains possession.
72' DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION! Kerala Blasters manager Kibu Vicuna makes two changes at one go. He brings on Jeakson Singh and Gary Hooper to replace Bakary Kone and Prasanth Karuthadathkuni on the field.
69' YELLOW CARD! Kerala Blasters FC midfielder Juande goes into the referee's book for his silly tackle on an opposition player. Mumbai will get a free-kick in midfield.
67' GOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!! LE FONDRE SCORES!!!! MUMBAI CITY 2 - 1 KERALA BLASTERS!!! Le Fondre slammed the ball to the left of Kerala goalkeeper Albino Gomes, who didn't move. Once again, the Blasters have thrown away their lead.
65' PENALTY FOR MCFC! Costa Nhamoinesu brings down Adam le Fondre inside the box and the referee points to the spot. The KBFC defender argues with the official, who stands by his decision.
62' SHOT! Bipin Singh dribbles past a few KBFC players and sets up Rowllin Borges at close range. But Rowllin's shot misses the target by a whisker.
60' COUNTER-ATTACK! Mumbai City FC begins a counter following a Kerala Blasters FC corner. Le Fondre and Boumous move forward. But the Kerala defenders track back on time to avert the danger.
58' CROSS! Sahal Abdul Samad sends in a cross into the box from the left flank. Rahul KP heads it on target. But Amrinder Singh pushes the ball away from danger.
55' KBFC players are executing some quick passes in midfield here. Since conceding the equaliser, the Tuskers have dominated possession against the Islanders.
52' CLOSE! Mumbai City midfielder Rowllin Borges takes a shot from just outside the box. He tests Kerala Blasters goalkeeper Albino Gomes but doesn't beat him.
49' SHOT! Rahul K. P. sends the ball towards Jordan Murray, who takes a touch too many. In the end, the KBFC forward's shot is saved by MCFC keeper Amrinder Singh.
46' GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!! BIPIN SINGH SCORES!!!!! MUMBAI CITY 1 - 1 KERALA BLASTERS!!!! Adam le Fondre passed the ball to Cy Goddard on the right flank. The latter evaded a tackle and got into the box. Goddard's attempted shot takes a deflection off Costa Nhamoinesu and reaches Bipin, who finds the back of the net from a narrow angle, despite pressure from Sandeep Singh.
THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!
Forty-five minutes to go. Stay tuned!
Vicente Gomez gave Kerala Blasters FC the lead against Mumbai City FC tonight. Despite having multiple chances, the Islanders haven't equalised yet.
AND IT'S HALF-TIME! SCORE: KERALA BLASTERS FC 1 - 0 MUMBAI CITY FC!!!
45' Two minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half! Jordan Murray takes a shot at goal from a narrow angle. But Amrinder collects the ball after pushing it to the ground.
42' CORNER FOR MCFC! Cy Goddard will take the set-piece. His ball into the middle falls to Mourtada Fall. But Albino comes off his line to punch the ball away. Kerala starts a counter and wins a corner at the other end. However, Sahal Abdul Samad's set-piece is a poor one.
39' CROSS! Bipin Singh uses all his pace to evade a couple of opposition players on the left flank. He then sends a cross towards Boumous, who attempts a header on target. However, Albino Gomes collects the ball with ease.
36' Rowllin Borges and Hugo Boumous execute a perfect one-two pass and enter the final third. But once again the Kerala defensive line is solid as it averts the danger.
33' CLOSE! Both Vignesh and Amey Ranawade keep supplying crosses into the box from both the wings. The former's initial cross reaches Raynier Fernandes, who fires a shot. But there are lots of KBFC players in the way as the Tuskers regain possession.
30' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FIRST HALF COOLING BREAK!
27' GOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!! VICENTE GOMEZ SCORES!!! KERALA BLASTERS 2 - 0 MUMBAI CITY!! This was another Sahal Abdul Samad corner. Gomez escaped his marker with ease and headed the ball past Amrinder at the near post.
25' WHAT A CHANCE! Kerala Blasters left-back Yondrembem Denechandra gets into the box after a brilliant sprint. He then sends a low cross into the middle. Rahul KP gets to it and has a swing on target but Amrinder Singh dives to his left to complete the save.
22' SHOT! Cy Goddard takes a shot on target from long. But Kerala Blasters FC custodian Albino Gomes makes a straightforward save in the end.
20' CROSS! Bipin Singh makes a good move forward for MCFC. However, his cross attempt into the box is headed away by Bakary Kone.
17' SHOT! This is already a third good chance of the half for Mumbai City striker Adam le Fondre. Goalkeeper Amrinder Singh makes a wonderful clearance and it falls to Hugo Boumous on the right flank. The Feench playmaker sets up Adam le Fondre with a good cross. But Le Fondre's shot on the volley misses the target.
14' INJURY! MCFC full-back Vignesh Dakshinamurthy unintentionally hits Samad with his elbow on the follow-through. The referee doesn't award the Blasters a free-kick. Samad looks fine to continue.
11' VERY CLOSE! Mumbai City FC defender Hernan Santana plays a long ball towards Adam le Fondre from the other half. Le Fondre controls it well and sees Kerala centre-back Costa Nhamoinesu slip. He soon goes one-on-one with goalkeeper Albino Gomes, but fires the ball wide off target.
8' KBFC CHANCE! Sahal Abdul Samad passes the ball to Vicente Gomez close to the box. The latter tries to send in a low cross but Mumbai centre-back Mourtada Fall makes the clearance.
5' Kerala Blasters FC is pressing extremely high here. The MCFC defenders are feeling the pressure already. The Tuskers are passing well tonight as well.
2' CORNER FOR KBFC! Sahal Abdul Samad will take the set-piece. His cross into the box is headed away by Mumbai City midfielder Raynier Fernandes.
7:30pm: AND THE MATCH BEGINS!
7:25pm: The players are out in the centre - Blasters in its traditional yellow kits and Mumbai City in its sky blue jersey.
7:15pm: STAT - The last time Kerala Blasters defeated Mumbai City was in December, 2017. In the five matches since, the men from Kochi have lost three and drawn two.
7pm: Three changes in Mumbai City's starting XI as well - Adam Le Fondre and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy return, while Cy Goddard replaces the suspended Ahmed Jahouh.
IN : Adam Le Fondre, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Cy Goddard | OUT: Bartholomew Ogbeche, Mandar Rao Dessai, Ahmed Jahouh
6:45pm: Kibu Vicuna makes three changes as Bakary Kone, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni and Yondrembem Denchendra find a place in the starting XI.
IN: Bakary Kone, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni and Yondrembem Denchendra | OUT: Jesser Carneiro, Jeakson Singh, Gary Hooper
6:30 PM: The team lineups are out!
KBFC XI: Albino Gomes, Costa Nhamoinesu, Bakary Kone, Sandeep Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Rahul KP, Juande, Yondrembem Denechandra, Jordan Murray.
COACH: Kibu Vicuna.
MCFC XI: Amrinder Singh, Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Bipin Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Cy Goddard, Rowllin Borges, Raynier Fernandes, Hernan Santana, Hugo Boumous, Adam Le Fondre.
COACH: Sergio Lobera.
6:15 PM: Podcast - The merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan for ISL 2020-21 seemed like a match made in heaven, but fans didn't look pleased. Our reporters Shyam Vasudevan, Aashin Prasad and Amitabha Das Sharma delve into the reasons behind fans' displeasure and the raging hashtag #RemoveATK in the latest episode of 'The Full Time Show'.
Follow Sportstar's full coverage (Latest news, Interviews, Features, Points table, Quiz, Videos) of ISL 2020-21 .
The seventh edition of the Indian Super League got underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa on November 20.
The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following the inclusion of SC East Bengal, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.
The last time Kerala Blasters defeated Mumbai City was in December, 2017. In the five matches since, the men from Kochi have lost three and drawn two.
They will indeed be desperate for another win against Mumbai when the two teams square off at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim (Goa) on Wednesday. They will be well aware that it would not be easy at all.
Mumbai is on top of the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21)table, with 30 points from matches, while Blasters is lying third from the bottom, with 15 points from as many games. The underdog's coach, however, sounded confident on the eve of the match.
“We are ready to face Mumbai City,” said Kibu Vicuna. “They're the leaders of the competition. They're a very good team, very good players with a good coach. It’s a big challenge for us as we have to come back and get a win tomorrow.”
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He could also take heart from the way his boys performed in the last match against ATK Mohun Bagan, despite going down 2-3. Having led 2-0 14 minutes into the second half, the SIDE should not have lost that match, though.
Mumbai may be leading the competition, but it hasn't exactly been in the best of form of late, having won only one of its last four matches. Coach Sergio Lobera acknowledged that there was a need to learn from the mistakes.
“We knew this situation was possible because it is practically impossible not to lose any game during the season,” he said. “We lost the first game to NorthEast United. Never before during the same season has one team gone 12 games unbeaten.”
He added the defeat would not affect the team. “We need to continue improving and work with the same ambition in the same way,” he said. “We need to learn from our mistakes as always but I am not worried.”