Arguably the best sides in the league at the moment, both teams went into the match-winning their last encounters. However, it was Bartholomew Ogbeche‘s stunner in the 69th minute that saw the Islanders home in this one goal thriller of a match.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s Javier Hernandez returned to the starting lineup after recovering from injury in place of Carl McHugh. Glan Martins came in place of SK Sahil and Manvir Singh replaced Prabir Das.
Mumbai City FC also made a couple of changes in their lineup. Ahmed Jahouh was replaced by CY Goddard. Bartholomew Ogbeche came in place of Adam Le Fondre, who was benched for the night.
The match started out in a feisty manner as both sides placed some aggressive football from the first minute. There were fouls from the get-go and the players did not hold back at all.
The first genuine chance came during the 11th minute when the Islanders flooded into ATK Mohun Bagan’s box. Ogbeche’s fine shot at goal was somehow kept out by skipper, goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya in what was a stunning goal-line save.
The Islanders had their tails up and launched attacks upon attacks while the Mariners were in the receiving end. Sandesh Jhingan contributed numerous blocks to save ATK Mohun Bagan from a lot of trouble.
Cy Goddard‘s stunning run cutting in from the right flank and losing 3 ATK Mohun Bagan defenders went in vain as Bipin Singh couldn’t finish the beautiful ball by Rowllin Borges, as his wayward shot didn’t trouble goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya. It was halftime with no goals scored.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 69th minute as Obegeche finally found a way past Arindam. After a barrage of saves throughout the first as well as the second half, Arindam Bhattacharya finally conceded a goal.
It was a visionary backheel pass by Hugo Boumous as he knew exactly where Ogbeche was making the run, who in turn, made no mistake and struck the ball past the helpless keeper. It was a treat for any football fan watching the game and later proved to be the lone goal of the match, separating the sides for 3 points and a bigger lead in the points table.
Mourtada Fall stepped up in the latter stages of the game to ensure none of the Mariners’ attempts at goal was actually converted and stood like a wall in the Mumbai City FC’s defence. Roy Krishna toiled away in vain as he played well but just couldn’t find the net.
The last 15 minutes of the match became increasingly physical as frustration was clear in the Mariners’ body language, as the final whistle signalled their defeat. It was their first defeat in 5 matches and ATK Mohun Bagan would want to desperately reclaim the top spot in the points table, now that they are 5 points behind toppers Mumbai City FC.
The Mariners take on FC Goa in their next match on January 17th while Mumbai City FC would love to keep their winning momentum as they take on the Nizams, Hyderabad FC on January 16th.
Hero of the Match – Bartholomew Ogbeche
Bartholomew Ogbeche won the Hero of the Match award for his all-important second-half goal which decided the fate of the game while the DHL Winning Pass of the Match went to Hugo Boumous for his exceptional backheel assist which led them to victory.