Mumbai City FC gave their Search for a Hero Indian Super League play-off Place a massive Increase after a dramatic 2-1 win over Jamshedpur FC in the Mumbai Football Arena here on Thursday.
However, Mumbai City pegged them back, courtesy of a header from Amine Chermiti (60′) prior to a late injury-time attack from Bidyananda Singh (90+2′) handed Mumbai the triumph.
The Islanders are now five points clear of fifth-placed Chennaiyin FC with 26 points from 16 matches while Jamshedpur is currently seventh on the table and have seen their chances of reaching the end of their play-offs.
The game sprung to life minutes following kick-off. Sergio Castel led an Aitor Monroy free-kick straight at Amrinder Singh before Sourav Das made a clumsy challenge that brought down Farukh Choudhary within the box.
Mumbai attempted to mount an immediate reaction. Diego Carlos played a cross-field diagonal for Raynier Fernandes, whose strong low attack from the right forced a good save off Subrata Paul.
Close, into the half an hour mark, Carlos, Amine Chermiti and Raynier combined well in and around the box to install Mohammad Larbi with a fantastic opportunity to shoot but the latter’s dashed strike flew over the bar.
Minutes later, Monroy launched a counter-attack and discovered Castel’s dangerous run into the box.
Mumbai bossed the midfield after the restart but struggled to carve out clear-cut opportunities against an organised Jamshedpur defence. Subhasish Bose unleashed a ferocious left-footed shot from the edge of the box to check Paul but the experienced goalkeeper was up to the job.
The pressure soon paid off, since the hosts equalised in the hour mark. Chermiti escaped Narender Gahlot’s attention within the box and headed into the web from a well-taken corner-kick by Carlos.
Carlos threatened in the right again as the Islanders pushed for another aim. Serge Kevyn failed to link the Brazilian’s low cross into the box in front of an empty net.
Amrinder Singh, who didn’t have a lot to do for the majority of the second half, pulled off a brilliant reflex save in the 84th minute to keep the scoreline intact.
This saving would prove to be critical as replacement Bidyananda Singh developed the match-winner for Mumbai in injury time. Pratik led a hopeful cross into the box to the path of Bidyananda who struck a brilliant strike from the edge of the box which beat Paul and moved in.