Chhangte shines in crucial Mumbai win | Football News - Hindustan Times

Chhangte shines in crucial Mumbai win

Apr 08, 2024 11:57 PM IST

Former champions a draw away from bagging the League Winners’ Shield

Mumbai City FC pulled further ahead at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) standings on Monday with a 2-1 win against Odisha FC. The result took Petr Kratky’s side another step closer to securing the League Winners’ Shield.

Lallianzuala Chhangte scored a goal against Odisha FC.(PTI)
Lallianzuala Chhangte scored a goal against Odisha FC.(PTI)

In what was a closely-contested match at the Mumbai Football Arena, the hosts rode on goals in each half from Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Lallianzuala Chhangte to secure full points. Diego Mauricio had scored for Odisha FC.

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Mumbai will face ISL champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant in their last game of the league stage on Monday and a draw will be enough to ensure they finish at the top of the points table. If Bagan lose their penultimate game against Bengaluru FC on Wednesday, Mumbai will be the winners for a record-extending third time even before the final round.

Odisha’s manager Sergio Lobera, who had coached Mumbai to their only ISL title so far in 2020-’21, would have been happy with his side’s performance in the first half. The visitors enjoyed 54 per cent possession and responded well after conceding.

Argentine forward Diaz gave the lead in the 22nd minute with a strike from inside the six-yard box. It was Chhangte, however, who deserved much of the credit for the goal as he made a run down the right flank and cut in to find Diaz after turning a defender the wrong way.

Mumbai’s lead lasted for just three minutes, though, as Odisha equalised after a mistake from goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa. Under no pressure, the 26-year-old attempted to play a pass straight down the pitch and ended up finding Mauricio who then fired a shot from the edge of the box and the ball hit the right post before going in.

Despite the setback, Mumbai kept trying to build attacks and had an opportunity to take the lead again. But after a move from the right, Diaz hit the crossbar.

In the second half, Mumbai dominated possession initially and were rewarded in the 61st minute. Akash Mishra fired a ball in from the left and Diaz couldn’t find the back of the net from inside the six-yard box. But the ball ricocheted off goalkeeper Amarinder Singh and Chhangte stabbed it in.

Odisha had a couple of chances but held on and closed out their 14th win of the season, drawing animated celebration from their Czech coach Petr Kratky.

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