ISL 2020-21 highlights: Mumbai CIty FC beats SC East Bengal 1-0

ISL 2020-21, SCEB vs MCFC Updates: Get the Indian Super League football news, score and commentary from the game between SC East Bengal and Mumbai City FC.

Mourtada Fall celebrates his goal for Mumbai City FC against SC East Bengal in the 2020-21 ISL on Friday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

This is Sportstar's match blog/highlights of the ISL 2020-21 encounter between SC East Bengal and Mumbai City FC in Goa on Friday.

That is all we have for tonight. We will be back tomorrow with the Kerala Blasters FC vs FC Goa clash. Here's the preview for game No. 68 of the 2020-21 ISL. [READ MORE] Until then, it's good night.

MATCH REPORT | ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City edges past SC East Bengal to cement its position on top

Mumbai City FC midfielder Hugo Boumous takes home the 'Winning Pass of the Game' award for assisting the only goal of the night, while his teammate, defender, and today's goal-scorer Mourtada Fall wins the 'Player of the Match' honour.

MCFC manager Sergio Lobera: If I see the result, I'm extremely happy. But on the whole, we were dominated and that's a concern. We had quite a few chances to score a second goal. However, we didn't capitalise on that. If we continue this way, it might be difficult to win future games. East Bengal played really well in the second half. We lost the ball often and made it easy for them. I want to play attacking football, create more chances and score goals. But we couldn't do that throughout the game. We need to improve. Hugo Boumous was taken off as a precaution. He was feeling good on the field tonight and produced a good assist.

RELATED | ISL 2020-21 top-scorers list: FC Goa's Angulo leads Golden Boot race, Valskis in second

EB head coach Robbie Fowler: We were brilliant in the second half. This was a much improved performance and I was happy for my players. Unfortunately, we couldn't get any points. It took a little long for players to adapt to the game. Some of them weren't up to the mark. So I made tweaks in the final 45 minutes. The table is tight at the moment and we need a string of wins now to make it past the group stage. Jeje (Lalpekhlua) isn't fully fit. Harmanpreet Singh, who is better suited for the role up front, is preferred as the Indian attacker.

SCEB forward Anthony Pilkington: We were sloppy in the first half. We weren't happy in the opening 45 minutes. We made changes in the second and dominated the half. If we had taken those chances, we could have come out on top. If we don't put in goals, we can't expect to get wins. We did everything we could to find the equaliser. We could possibly take some heart from that. But we hope to come back stronger. 

Post-match reaction from both the camps coming up next.....

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

Finally, at full-time, Mumbai City bagged the all-important three points and extended its lead over second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan to five points. Meanwhile, East Bengal stays at 10th, with 12 points from 13 outings.

READ | ISL 2020-21: Points table, goals scored, goal difference - Mumbai City finishes top after win over Mohun Bagan

But it was all SC East Bengal in the second half. MCFC did have a few good chances to double its lead but it kept messing up opportunities. At the other end, SCEB wasn't any different with its finishing prowess.

Mumbai City FC started the game well and scored a well-deserved opener in the 28th minute, after Mourtada Fall found the back of the net when Hugo Boumous teed him up inside the box.

AND IT'S FULL-TIME! FINAL SCORE: SC EAST BENGAL 0 - 1 MUMBAI CITY FC!!!

90+3' SC East Bengal takes the ball forward. But the Mumbai City FC defence looks compact yet again to avert the danger. Despite having a 60% overall possession, SCEB has been unable to create many clear-cut chances.  

90' Five minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the second half! Bright Enobakhare sends a ball into the middle for SCEB. But no teammate could reach his cross as Mumbai City gets away with it.

88' WHAT A CHANCE! SC East Bengal could have found the equaliser here. Aaron Amadi-Holloway used his strength to get past a MCFC defender and cross the ball from the left flank. Harmanpreet Singh was at the receiving end. However, his header missed the target by a whisker.

86' BOOKING! Bartholomew Ogbeche is the fourth Mumbai player to be booked tonight. Ogbeche got a yellow card from the referee after he brought down an opposition player as East Bengal initiated a counter-attack.

84' DOUBLE CHANGE FOR MCFC! Raynier Fernandes and Vikram Pratap Singh replace Bipin Singh and an unhappy Hugo Boumous, who has a word with his coach Sergio Lobera on the sidelines.

82' ANOTHER SCEB SUBSTITUTION! Skipper Daniel Fox makes way for Aaron Amadi-Holloway on the field. This is the final change of the night from Fowler.

79' MCFC CHANCE! Mandar Rao Dessai, who received a yellow card just a few moments ago, supplies a cross into the middle but East Bengal centre-back Scott Neville clears the ball away from danger.

76' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FINAL DRINKS BREAK OF THE MATCH!

74' FREE-KICK FOR SCEB! Narayan Das will take it. He sends in a cross into the box towards Daniel Fox. The East Bengal captain heads the ball towards Bright Enobakhare who sets up Anthony Pilkington at the near post. But Pilkington shoots the ball over the crossbar.

71' YELLOW CARD! Mumbai City FC midfielder Hugo Boumous goes into the referee's book for his silly foul on SC East Bengal forward Jacques Maghoma. Boumous is the second MCFC player to be booked tonight.

68' GOOD TACKLE! Bright Enobakhare got the ball after receiving a short pass from Narayan Das. The SC East Bengal striker tried to go past Mourtada Fall but the MCFC defender put in a brilliant sliding tackle to recover the ball. 

65' SCEB SUBSTITUTION! Manager Robbie Fowler makes his fourth change of the second half. He finally decides to bring on forward Bright Enobakhare for midfielder Matti Steinmann.

62' CHANGE! Mandar Rao Dessai replaces Vignesh Dakshinamurthy in the middle. Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera finally makes his first substitution of the night.

59' CLOSE! MCFC's midfield duo Ahmed Jahouh and Hugo Boumous exchange a couple of one-two passes and get close to the box. Jahouh takes a shot from a decent distance and misses the target by a whisker.

56' GOOD SAVE! This was a Mumbai City FC set-piece and Cy Goddard took it as usual. Once again, Fall rushed forward and headed the ball on target. But SCEB keeper Debjit Majumder makes a successful save this time around.

53' ANOTHER SCEB CHANGE! This is a forced substitution as Milan Singh leaves the field after colliding with MCFC defender Mourtada Fall. Wahengbam Luwang takes his place in the middle. This looked like a concussion.

51' SC East Bengal has started the final 45 minutes well. Matti Steimann and Anthony Pilkington have been at the centre of most attacks so far. The team, however, must be careful with Mumbai City FC counter-attacks.

48' DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION FOR SCEB! Mohammed Rafique and Rana Gharami have come on to replace Surchandra Singh and Ankit Mukherjee in the middle. Manager Robbie Fowler has made changes to his lineup straightaway.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!

Forty-five minutes to go. Stay tuned!

RELATED | ISL 2020-21 News: Mourtada Fall becomes highest scoring defender in ISL history

MCFC centre-back Mourtada Fall is the leading goal scorer among defenders in ISL's short history, with 11 goals from 51 appearances.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

 

So, Mumbai City FC created the better chances against SC East Bengal in the opening 45 minutes and deservedly took the lead.

AND IT'S HALF-TIME! SCORE: SC EAST BENGAL 0 - 1 MUMBAI CITY FC!!!

45+2' FREE-KICK FOR MCFC! SCEB forward Harmanpreet Singh takes out Cy Goddard from the side. The referee awards Mumbai a set-piece in midfield. This should be the last play of the half.

45' Two minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half! Adam Le Fondre messes up a free header after receiving a cross from Bipin. This should have been 2-0 for Mumbai City FC.

42' CHANCE FOR MCFC! This was a quick counter-attack from the team. However, Rowllin Borges' long pass towards Bipin Singh had too much power on it. Bipin retrieved the ball and sent in a cross into the box. But the East Bengal centre-back duo came up with back-to-back headers to avert the danger.

39' CORNER FOR SCEB! Jacques Maghoma is on set-piece duty right now. He decides to go for a short pass. But after having possession for a brief period, the East Bengal players give away the ball cheaply.

37' The likes of Adam Le Fondre, Boumous and Goddard have all created a chance each and taken a shot each. They're dominating the final third. The East Bengal defence must be extremely cautious.

34' FOUL! MCFC midfielder Ahmed Jahouh might have claimed a third red card of the season here. He high boots SCEB forward Anthony Pilkington in midfield and the referee decides against booking the Moroccan.

31' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FIRST HALF COOLING BREAK!

28' GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!! MOURTADA FALL SCORES!!!!!!! MUMBAI CITY FC 1 - 0 SC EAST BENGAL!!! Cy Goddard took a corner from the left. His cross into the box fell to Mehtab Singh, whose header went backwards. Hugo Boumous got to the ball and sent another cross forward. This time, Fall jumped higher than his marker to find the back of the net.

25' FREE-KICK FOR MCFC! The Islanders have started dominating this outing. They've won a couple of set-pieces in the last few minutes. But once again the SCEB defence clears the ball away.

23' YELLOW CARD! Ahmed Jahouh is the first MCFC player to be booked tonight. He puts on a mistimed tackle on SCEB defender Scott Neville and goes into the referee's book.

20' DISPOSSESSED! Ankit Mukherjee sprints ahead on the right flank for SC East Bengal. He tries to dribble past Mumbai City FC's Bipin Singh but he loses the ball in the process.

17' SHOT! SCEB forward Anthony Pilkington sends the ball towards Jacques Maghoma, who makes a move towards the box. He evades an opposition player and takes a shot, which goes out for a MCFC goalkick.

14' WHAT A CHANCE! This should have been 1-0 for Mumbai City FC. Hugo Boumous set Cy Goddard wide and rushed into the box. Goddard's cross was straight into the hands of Debjit, who dropped the ball. Boumous fired it over the bar from close range.

11' A decent start from the two teams here. There's been no clear aggressor so far and both Mumbai City FC and SC East Bengal look to approach this game with caution.

9' SCEB CHANCE! Surchandra Singh receives a pass from Matti Steimann and makes a move forward on the left wing. His cross into the box is cleared away by MCFC centre-back Mourtada Fall. But it's a poor one as the ball falls to Harmanpreet Singh, who misses the target with his shot.

6' YELLOW CARD! A very early booking tonight. SC East Bengal skipper Daniel Fox took out Bipin Singh from behind as he was receiving a pass from his teammate Hugo Boumous. The referee doesn't hesitate a bit to show the card.

3' CHANCE FOR MCFC! Cy Goddard takes the ball forward for Mumbai City FC. He sets up Adam Le Fondre close to the box. The English striker takes a touch and lets one fly. However, he misses the target.

7:30 PM: AND THE MATCH BEGINS!

7:15 PM: Can Mumbai City FC extend its lead at the top of the points table or will SC East Bengal continue its unbeaten run?

Mumbai City FC players taking part in their pre-match training drills ahead of the game against SC East Bengal on Friday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

 

7:00 PM: SCEB has made two changes tonight! Midfielder Matti Steinmann has taken forward Bright Enobakhare's place in Fowler's playing XI, while Harmanpreet Singh has replaced his countryman Ajay Chhetri, who has been suspended due to a red card.

READ | ISL 2020-21, SC East Bengal vs Mumbai City FC: Narayan Das makes 100th ISL appearance

Meanwhile, there have been three alterations for MCFC! French playmaker Hugo Boumous, Indian duo Mehtab Singh and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy return to Lobera's lineup in place of Hernan Santana, Raynier Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai.

6:45 PM: SC East Bengal defender Narayan Das becomes the second player after his Mumbai City FC counterpart Mandar Rao Dessai to complete 100 games in the ISL.

SC East Bengal full-back Narayan Das, who has also featured for the likes of FC Goa, Odisha FC and the now-defunct FC Pune City in the past, makes his 100th ISL appearance against Mumbai City FC.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

 

6:30 PM: The team lineups are out!

SCEB XI: Debjit Majumder, Narayan Das, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Ankit Mukherjee, Milan Singh, Surchandra Singh, Jacques Maghoma, Matti Steinmann, Anthony Pilkington, Harmanpreet Singh.

COACH: Robbie Fowler.

MCFC XI: Amrinder Singh, Mehtab Singh, Mourtada Fall, Amey Ranawade, Ahmed Jahouh, Cy Goddard, Rowllin Borges, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Bipin Singh, Hugo Boumous, Adam Le Fondre.

COACH: Sergio Lobera.

6:15 PM: As SC East Bengal gets ready to take on Mumbai City FC in match 67 of the 2020-21 Indian Super League, here are the important stats, players to watch out for and head-to-head record from the fixture. (READ MORE)

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.

ISL 2020: Points Table

MATCH PREVIEW:

SC East Bengal has been able to work out a significant turnaround by remaining unbeaten in the last seven matches, something that seemed improbable when it embarked on its maiden Indian Super League journey.

The Kolkata giant will be facing its toughest opponent on this path of redemption when it takes on the current league leader Mumbai City FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Friday.

East Bengal had lost 3-0 against Mumbai City FC in the first phase of the tournament. Since then, the team under Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler has made some effective changes in its tactics to be able to stem the sequence of failures which happened till the first five rounds.

RELATED| ISL 2020-21: Last-gasp Williams header takes ATK Mohun Bagan past Chennaiyin

“Mumbai City is a good side and they have been doing really well,” said Fowler’s assistant and one of India’s most successful midfielders, Renedy Singh, before the match.

“I feel we have to consider our own style, how we have played in the last seven matches. It is a process that we have to continue. We will work on our own goal while giving respect to them,” Renedy added.

The arrival of young Nigerian striker Bright Enobakhare has given East Bengal a boost in its attack. This helped the side claim two wins in the last seven outings, while the remaining five were draws. 

Another big plus for the side has been the form of goalkeeper Debjit Majumder, whose effective vigil under the bar has been one of the big reasons behind the team’s recent good showing. East Bengal is currently at the 10th spot with 12 points from as many matches.

RELATED| ISL 2020-21: Points table, goals scored, goal difference - Mumbai City finishes top after win over Mohun Bagan

Mumbai City FC, which is on top with 26 points from 11 matches, is a team driven by the overtly offensive philosophy of Spanish coach Sergio Lobera. It definitely is the most attack-oriented side in the league. This is evident from the fact that Mumbai City has so far scored the most number of goals (10) in the first half, as compared to the remaining clubs in the tournament.

Lobera’s men are also unbeaten in the last ten games. They need to extend this to three more matches to overtake the record of FC Goa, which remained unbeaten in 12 successive matches.

“The most important thing is to win the title. Obviously, to get there it is a consequence of doing a lot of things well. If during the progress we manage some good numbers, lots of goals, lots of clean sheets and possession of the ball, there is more possibility of winning the trophy," claimed Lobera.

"But if I need to refuse these records in order to win a trophy, then I will prefer to win a trophy because that is the best record of all," he concluded.

ISL 2020-21 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.