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Mumbai, Kerala play out draw
Striker Amine Chermiti cancels Raphael Messi Bouli’s second half goal
Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters FC played out a 1-1 draw in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Thursday.
Raphael Messi Bouli (75’) put Kerala in the lead but Mumbai City hit back with an Amine Chermiti (77’) strike. MCFC (7 points) and KBFC (6 points) are without a win in six matches and find themselves at sixth and eighth spots respectively on the table.
Chasing its second win of the season, Blasters showed plenty of intent but lacked an end product in the early stages. A 12th minute Raju Gaikwad throw-in found its way towards Seityasen Singh, who shot wide from a one-on-one with Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
Messi Bouli, who led the Kerala attack in the absence of Bartholomew Ogbeche, was a handful for the home defence. Midway through the half, the Cameroonian striker pulled off a brilliant overhead effort from inside the box off Jessel Carneiro’s cross, but was denied a goal-of-the-season contender by Amrinder.
Mumbai City slowly regained control in midfield and threatened before the break with Rowllin Borges and Moudou Sougou combining to carve out two good chances.
Borges did well to find Sougou out wide and the forward’s cross for Chermiti was punched away by TP Rehenesh. Then, a similar cross from the same combination saw Mohammed Larbi head over the bar.
The game evened up after the change of ends, with MCFC turning more aggressive in its approach. The host was brilliantly denied twice by Rehenesh, who kept Kerala in the contest.
The goalkeeper rushed off his line to get to Chermiti’s dangerous long pass before the intended target, Bipin Singh, could receive it inside the box.
Minutes later, Borges split the Kerala defence with an excellent through-ball that released Bipin into the box. The Blasters custodian sprinted out of his area and blocked the forward’s shot. After impressing throughout the game with his movement upfront, Messi Bouli broke the deadlock for the visitor in the 75th minute.
Jeakson Singh dribbled into the box and forced a save off Amrinder but Jessel delivered the rebound across the goal on a plate for the striker whose left-footed shot found the back of the net. However, the away side’s celebrations didn’t last long as Chermiti came up with an equaliser two minutes later.
Paulo Machado headed a Sarthak Golui cross into the path of an unmarked Chermiti, who beat Rehenesh on his second attempt. His strike ensured both teams took home a point each.