While it was Mumbai’s third win in its last four games, Chennaiyin slumped to its fifth defeat in six games this season, to continue a surprisingly barren run. John Gregory’s men languish at the bottom of the table with a solitary point from a drawn game against Delhi Dynamos.
The all-important goal came against the run of play when Rafael Bastos sent a through ball to Sougou. The Senegalese forward got inside the box and shot with his left foot, but Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh made a good stop. The rebound fell to him and he didn’t miss the target this time.
Chennaiyin had made a good start to the game and it was spurred into action by the Sougou strike, but its attempts to level the score didn’t materialise. It kept attacking and putting in the crosses, but a goal continued to elude it. The Mumbai defence held firm under sustained pressure as Andrea Orlandi was in the thick of things.
Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder Singh kept the CFC strikers at bay with some crucial saves including one when Isaac Vanmalsawma took a corner. In the 41st minute, Orlandi had a chance as he got past a few defenders and headed inside the box, attempting to get past Subhasish Bose.
Orlandi was down and appealed for a penalty, which was turned down by the referee.
In the second half, the home side played with great resolve, but the Mumbai City FC defence held firm under pressure to secure three important points. As Chennaiyin pressed for the equaliser, Nelson was in the thick of action, pushing forward in the 70th. A minute later, he put Germanpreet Singh through, but the shot was blocked by the Mumbai custodian.
In the 57th minute, Mumbai had an opportunity to double the lead. Arnold Issoko sent a lovely ball through to Sougou, with Eli Sabia preventing a second.
Gregory brought on Jeje Lalpheklua late in the second half in the hope of bringing some pep into the attack, but the Mumbai defenders were steadfast in their job of holding off any rival attacks. Mumbai has moved up to fifth spot with this win, which should make the coach Jorge Costa happy.