Mumbai City FC held Chennaiyin FC to a 0-0 draw in their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. Both teams created some good chances over the course of the match but failed to find a goal.
The result will be a more favorable one for Mumbai, who now have four points after two away matches. For Chennaiyin, however, it will go down as a missed opportunity at home.
The hosts could have gone in front with just one minute on the clock, but Mumbai captain and goalkeeper Amrinder Singh came to the Islanders’ rescue, first blocking off Andre Schembri’s advance on goal and then deflecting out Rafael Crivellaro’s follow up, exhibiting exemplary reflex.
Crivellaro, who was making his first Hero ISL start on the night, looked lively for Chennaiyin early on and fizzed a long ranger just over in the 11th minute. Moments later, the 30-year-old was in the thick of things yet again after Amrinder’s save off Lallianzuala Chhangte fell kindly for him inside the box. However, with the goal at his mercy, Crivellaro dragged his effort wide.
The visitors had little joy going forward in the first 20 minutes, but had a golden opportunity to sneak into the lead in the 24th minute. Amine Chermiti pounced on an error from a loose back pass by the Chennaiyin defence and tried to slot it past a very advanced Vishal Kaith. But his connection was not quite right as the ball sailed well over the crossbar.
Mumbai took the reins of the match following the chance, but Chermiti and Serge Kevyn, who came on for an injured Modou Sougou on the 23rd minute, squandered very presentable opportunities to let the home team off the hook.
Chhangte came alive for the hosts in the closing stage of the first-half, tormenting the Islanders’ backline with his quick feet and dribbling, but the first 45 minutes came to an end with two teams level on 0-0.
Like the first period, Chennaiyin started the second-half with a lot of intent and tested Amrinder a couple of times in the first ten minutes after the restart. The game slowed down a bit as the hour-mark approached with both sides taking a more measured approach to mitigate errors.
Jorge Costa brought on Paulo Machado to inject more creativity in the middle of the park for Mumbai and the move almost paid off immediately as the Portuguese played in Kevyn on goal. The winger tried to take a snap shot to catch Kaith unawares, but the Chennaiyin custodian was up to the task.
Nerijus Valskis came off the bench for Chennaiyin and created a shooting opportunity for himself on the 80-minute mark. The striker’s first touch was exquisite at the edge of the Mumbai box but the final shot wasn’t on target.
Chennaiyin threw men forward in the final ten minutes in search of a late winner, but Mumbai backline, particularly Sarthak Golui, defended resolutely. The Islanders saw Sauvik Chakrabarti being sent off for his second booking of the night in the dying seconds, but the team had already done enough to earn a crucial away point.
Defender Sarthak Golui was a rock at the back for Mumbai City FC and was instrumental to the team securing their second successive clean sheet in Hero ISL 2019-20. The youngster rightfully bagged the Hero of the Match award.