ISL 2020-21 news: Resilient Hyderabad holds Mumbai City to goalless draw

A brilliant defensive performance from Hyderabad FC helped the outfit claim a point against Mumbai City FC after a 0-0 draw at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.

Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC played out a 0-0 draw in match 60 of the 2020-21 Indian Super League in Goa on Saturday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Hyderabad FC shutout table-topper Mumbai City FC in an enthralling goalless draw in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday.

The Nizams managed their first clean sheet in nine outings, and in the process stopped Mumbai’s run of having scored a goal in its last nine matches. The point extended Mumbai’s lead at the top to six, with second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan playing its game in hand on Sunday.

Hyderabad, which was playing its first game in eight days, pressed high up the pitch and sought to close down Mumbai on the ball, to force mistakes in its own half. Despite having 59 per cent possession in the opening 45 minutes, a Hugo Boumous-less Mumbai struggled to create many openings with Hyderabad denying it space to work with. It’s best chance came in the 11th minute when Raynier Fernandes’ flicked on header sent Bipin Singh through on goal, but his extra touch allowed HFC right-back Asish Rai to make a crucial tackle.

MATCH BLOG | ISL 2020-21 highlights: Mumbai City FC, Hyderabad FC play out 0-0 draw

Hyderabad had the best chances in the half, with shots on target on four occasions without scoring. Liston Colaco was released down the right side into Mumbai’s box after a good link-up play by Aridane Santana and Joel Chianese. With two HFC players in better goal-scoring positions, Liston struck a shot straight at Amrinder Singh from a narrow angle, instead of squaring the ball to a teammate.

Right after the water break, Chianese beat the offside line to race on to Mohammed Yasir’s lobbed ball over the top, but Amrinder denied the forward with an outstretched foot. Mumbai’s only shot of the half came at the 45-minute mark, when Adam le Fondre curled a shot from distance into the hands of Laxmikant Kattimani.

After the restart, a tired Mumbai’s frustrations were compounded by Hyderabad’s disciplined approach. Passes were being misplaced, shots being taken from outside the box and clumsy fouls were being committed. Hernan Santana, Vikram Pratap Singh and le Fondre were booked for rash tackles.

Even when Hyderabad made a mistake, it went unpunished. Centre-back Chinglensana Singh was robbed off the ball by Raynier Fernandes and was hurtling through on goal but Odei Onaindia made a last-ditch sliding tackle to dispossess the attacker. 

Hyderabad head coach Manolo Marquez Roca decided to see out the game for a well-earned point as he withdrew his attackers Santana, Yasir and Chianese in the final 20 minutes.

THE RESULT: Mumbai City FC 0 drew with Hyderabad FC 0.