CHENNAI: It rained cats and dogs at the Marina Arena. And, it rained goals. Mumbai City FC first erased a two-goal deficit and then pumped in goals for fun in the second half to decimate Chennaiyin FC 6-2 in the Indian Super League 2022-23 here on Saturday.
After the roaring comeback, thanks to a lion-hearted performance, the Des Buckingham-coached Mumbai City (12 points from 6 matches) maintained its unbeaten start to the ISL campaign. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin (7 points from 5 matches) endured its second defeat at home – also its second loss of the league season – as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is now turning out to be a happy hunting ground for visiting teams.
Despite being starved of possession in the early stages, CFC earned the lead in the 19th minute when an unmarked Petar Sliskovic headed the ball home from close quarters for his maiden ISL goal. The crowd, which braved the showers and was clad in blue, went bonkers as Nasser El Khayati doubled the advantage in the 32nd minute. Making his full debut, El Khayati rippled the net on the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked.
At that moment, little did the Chennaiyin faithful know that their club was going to be beaten black and blue. A red-hot Mumbai City responded immediately – in the 33rd minute – through Jorge Pereyra Diaz, whose header off a Greg Stewart cross sparked the turnaround.
The provider turned scorer in stoppage time when Stewart made no mistake from the penalty spot after Apuia Ralte was fouled by CFC goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.
Scorecard reading 2-2 at half-time, Buckingham rang in a double change, with the incoming Vinit Rai and Vignesh D joining the party. While Vinit found the top right corner following a brilliant cutback from Bipin Singh, Vignesh came up with a collector’s item – a left-footed strike from outside the 18-yard box. Alberto Noguera, another substitute, and Bipin added sheen to the scoreline with a goal each.
RESULT: Chennaiyin FC 2 (P Sliskovic 19, N El Khayati 32) lost to Mumbai City FC 6 (JP Diaz 33, G Stewart 45(P), Vinit 48, Vignesh D 60, A Noguera 65, Bipin 90)