Bartholomew Ogbeche's 69th minute stunner helped Mumbai City FC go five points clear at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 table with a 1-0 win over ATK Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday. It was the first time ATKMB conceded from open play this season, and the win extended Mumbai's unbeaten run to nine games.
Meanwhile, ATKMB cocah Antonio Habas rang in three changes with Manvir Singh starting up front. Glan Martins paired Javier Hernandez in midfield with the latter making a comeback after last featuring against Odisha on December 3.
Mumbai City dominated possession throughout the first half and ATKMB were lucky to go into break with the scores level. Lobera's side forced an early scare on ATKMB's defence with their usual pace and high pressing game, creating an opportunity during the 8th minute. Hernan Santana initiated the move and found Mandar Rao Dessai, who squared the ball to Hugo Boumous, but the Frenchman's shot was straight at keeper Arindam Bhattacharja. Mumbai were inches away from taking the lead later in the first half when Ogbeche diverted the ball from a goalmouth scramble, only for Arindam to make a goal-line save.
ATKMB came back strongly in the second half and created a few chances in which Edu Garcia had a big part to play. First he crashed his free kick from outside the box on target, forcing Mumbai keeper Amrinder Singh to dive at full stretch to keep it out. Garcia then saw his effort from open play hit the woodwork when he was set through by substitute Pranoy Halder, who replaced Martins at the break.
Mumbai finally managed to get past Arindam in the 69th minute and it was Ogbeche who produced a brilliant finish to give his side a deserved lead after being assisted by Boumous. The goal was a result of a brilliant team move, with Boumous trading a one-two with Santana in the build-up before playing back-heel pass to Ogbeche, who curled his effort into the top-right corner.
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