Reigning Indian Super League champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant came up with a fine performance to outplay Mumbai City FC 3-1 in the fourth quarterfinal of the Durand Cup on Sunday. For Mohun Bagan, the goal-scorers were Jason Cummings, Manvir Singh and Anwar Ali, whereas Jorge Pereyra Diaz scored the consolation goal for Mumbai. The former will be up against FC Goa in the semifinals here on Thursday. Mumbai City head coach Des Buckingham named a strong XI, with Diaz, Bipin Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte leading the attack, while Rahul Bheke, Mehtab Singh, Akash Mishra and Yoell Van Nieff were in the defence.
As for Mohun Bagan, they started with Hector Yuste, Ali and Subhasish Bose in the defence, while Ashique Kuruniyan and Manvir were the wing-backs. Armando Sadiku and Cummings led the forward line-up.
The midfield of both groups was packed with high quality, as Greg Stewart, Alberto Noguera and Apuia started for Mumbai, while Mohun Bagan brought in Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad and Hugo Boumous.
The quality in the midfield allowed both teams to cancel out each other’s moves initially, making it difficult to create space through the middle.
Ashique Kuruniyan created some space, but his pass to Cummings saw Lachenpa bringing the latter down, resulting in a penalty, which was swiftly converted by Cummings, as MBSG led in the ninth minute.
However, Mumbai soon took control of the game, giving their opponents some defensive trouble. In the 28th, Jorge Pereyra Diaz equalised for the Islanders, as Greg Stewart and Alberto Noguera combined well and the latter’s cross was deflected by Kaith, falling onto the Argentine’s path, who redirected the ball in with his chest.
Regardless, MCFC could not keep the deadlock intact for long enough, as Hugo Boumous’s looping cross was dazzlingly headed into the net by Manvir in the 30th minute.
As the Mariners led at half time, Vikram Partap Singh was introduced by Buckingham to bolster MCFC’s attack.
While Mumbai were now going all out with their attack, Mohun Bagan were taking most of the chances, as Anwar Ali doubled the lead in the 63rd minute. Ashique Kuruniyan displayed his skills to rush past Apuia and Bipin Singh, putting in a dangerous ball for Ali, who headed the ball into the corner of the goal by jumping high in the air.
The Islanders looked bereft of ideas, as the Mariners defended well, neutralising the former’s chances.
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