Bambolim (Goa), Feb 3 (IANS) Mumbai City FC avoided a second consecutive defeat by coming from behind to beat Kerala Blasters 2-1 on Wednesday in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Stadium.
After missing many chances, Adam Le Fondre’s 67th minute penalty proved decisive after Bipin Singh had earlier canceled out Kerala’s Vicente Gomez’s first half goal.
Kerala made three changes as Bakary Kone, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni and Yondrembem Denechendra found places in starting XI while for Sergio Lobera’s Mumbai, Adam Le Fondre, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, and Cy Goddard were given a start.
Raynier Fernandes came close to giving Mumbai the lead in the eighth minute but his shot from outside the box missed the goal by inches. Then it was Le Fondre who had one of the best chances of the game. In the 11th minute, he danced his way past two Kerala defenders, but his shot from a narrow-angle beat both the goalkeeper and the post. The Englishman was handed yet another chance when Hugo Boumous pounced on a loose pass, drove forward, and set him through but Le Fondre shot wide.
While the strikers were misfiring for Mumbai, their goalkeeper Amrinder Singh was at his best. Amrinder put in a full-stretch dive to deny Kone from scoring a header and then denied Rahul KP from up close.
However, Kerala took the lead from the resulting corner in the 27th minute. Sahal Abdul Samad sent in a perfect delivery in the area where Gomez got off his marker and headed the ball in.
Kerala held on to the lead and at half-time, the score read 1-0 in their favour. However, this did not last long in the second half with Mumbai scoring the equaliser in the 46th minute itself.
Le Fondre set Goddard up on the right as the latter evaded a tackle from opponents and attempted a shot. However, it took a deflection and went towards Bipin at the far post, who found the back of the net from a tight angle.
Kerala kept pressing but Amrinder stood strong. The goalkeeper continued to frustrate their opponents as he denied Jordan Murray and Rahul once again.
At the other end, Mumbai were awarded a penalty when Le Fondre was fouled in the box by Costa Nhamoinesu. Le Fondre didn’t make a mistake as he smashed the ball past Gomes. Mumbai managed to maintain their one-goal lead till the final whistle to extend their lead at the top.