2021-22 Indian Super League, Regular Season

ISL 2021-22: Mumbai City FC regain top spot after a goalless draw with SC East Bengal

SC East Bengal and Mumbai City FC played out an evenly fought contest. R.Parthibhan/Focus Sports/ISL

SC East Bengal held reigning champions Mumbai City FC to a 0-0 draw in the 2021-22 Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Friday. The result allowed MCFC to reclaim first place in the points table. However, their winless streak extends to four matches while SCEB have now gone 10 games without a win.

Igor Angulo was the first to test the goalkeeper as his header was comfortably saved by Arindam Bhattacharja. Daniel Chima Chukwu was next to threaten the goal at the other end but his attempt from close-range went narrowly past the right side of the goal. SCEB were dealt an early blow due to injury with Joyner Lourenco needing to be replaced by Ankit Mukherjee.

Both teams struggled to create major scoring chances in the first half. Mumbai dominated possession but found it tough to find spaces behind SCEB's backline. Due to resilient defending from East Bengal, both teams went into the halftime break on level terms.

Mohammad Rafique was sent on in the second half as a replacement for Bikash Jairu. A few minutes post the restart, strong calls for a penalty from MCFC players were denied by the referee as Adil Khan appeared to have fouled Cassio Gabriel inside the box. The Brazilian then blasted a long-range drive which was expertly parried away by Bhattacharja. MCFC's frustrations grew as Ahmed Jahouh came close with a long-range strike on the hour mark.

Vinit Rai made his MCFC debut as Des Buckingham sent him on alongside Ygor Catatau to inject more energy on the pitch. Amarjit Singh Kiyam also picked up an injury and was replaced by Darren Sidoel with 15 minutes left to play. Jahouh was the first player to get booked, picking up a fourth yellow card of the season, and will thus be suspended for the next game.

The final stages of the match saw more determined defending from SCEB as they frustrated Mumbai who could not create meaningful scoring chances. The fourth official announced five minutes to be added for stoppages and MCFC unleashed everything in their locker but could not find the goal they were looking for. In the end, both teams had to settle for a point each following a goalless draw.

Mumbai City FC are up against Bengaluru FC in their next game at the PJN Stadium on Monday whereas SC East Bengal will clash with high-flying Jamshedpur FC at the Athletic Stadium on Tuesday.