Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham determined to rebound from their recent loss to Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League made couple of strategic changes for this ISL matchup against Hyderabad FC. Rahul Bheke returned to the lineup, replacing Royston Griffiths, and El Khayati earned his first start for the Islanders, filling in for the suspended Yohan van Nieff.
The first minute of the game saw both teams feeling each other out. Mohammed Yasir of Hyderabad FC displayed early brilliance, winning a couple of challenges and driving forward in attack, but the Mumbai defense managed to deal with the early threat.
In the 4th minute, Nasser El Khayati unleashed a venomous attempt inside the box, but it failed to find the target. A few moments later, in the 5th minute, Vikram Partap Singh had a golden opportunity to put Mumbai ahead. Assisted by Jorge Pereyra Díaz on a fast break, Diaz sent a through ball to Vikram. However, the latter’s shot curled just wide of the target from the edge of the box.
In the fifth minute of the game, the game took a dramatic turn when El Khayati’s back pass saw Hyderabad FC’s Aaron beat the offside line to go through on goal. Islanders’ keeper Phurba Lachenpa rushed off his line and outside the box to challenge for the ball, however he could only manage to bring Aaron down while attempting to clear the ball. The consequence was a straight red card shown to Lachenpa, who was forced to leave the field.
As a result, Mohammed Nawaz was subbed in for Vikram Singh to guard the Mumbai City goal. The resulting free-kick was effectively cleared by the Mumbai defence as the deadlock remained unbroken.
Mumbai City FC did not let the red card deter them from going for attack. In the 11th minute, Akash Mishra’s right-footed shot from the center of the box was saved by the keeper in the top center of the goal. This attempt followed a short corner and was assisted by Greg Stewart.
At the other end, Mohammed Yasir setup Joseph Knowles of Hyderabad FC for a shot on goal but the latter’s attempted a right-footed shot from outside the box missed the target
In the 23rd minute, Aaron Dsilva embarked on a solo run towards the goal. Islanders’ substitute keeper Mohammad Nawaz came off his line just in time to intercept Aaron, but a collision ensued. A subsequent rebound shot was on target, but the referee deemed it a foul on Nawaz.
Mumbai City FC pushed hard for a breakthrough. In the 25th minute, Greg Stewart sent Chhangte through on the right wing. Chhangte made a run down the flank before delivering a teasing cross for Pereyra Diaz, who narrowly missed a header by mere inches as Hyderabad Keeper Gurmeet managed a fingertip clearance.
Apuia was then fouled just outside the box in the 26th minute by former Islander Vignesh D, who picked up a yellow card for the challenge. However, Greg Stewart’s resulting free-kick was blocked by the wall.
Post drinks break, Hyderabad employed a high press strategy to take the man advantage however Mumbai backline were up for the task. Both centre-backs Tiri and Mehtab did well to intercept or block away Hyderabad attack.
In the 43rd minute, Yasir beat Mishra with a nutmeg and attempted a shot from inside the box, which was blocked by Tiri. Couple of minutes later, Yasir drew Mishra into the center, creating space for Nikhil to run deep on the wings and send in a deep cross into the box, but an unmarked Aaron headed over the bar.
At the other end, Greg Stewart tries a lofted through ball into the box for chhangte but the Hyderabad fullback Oswaldo blocks Chhangte’s run to bring him down inside the box before dramatically falling over himself as referee waves it away as no foul
Second half began cagily, Hyderabad FC, buoyed by their numerical advantage, pressed aggressively for a goal, while 10-man Mumbai began pragmatically.
Mumbai faced an early scare as a ball from the Hyderabad right wing, deep into the box took an awkward bounce in front of Mehtab Singh. Mehtab attempted to block it, but the ball deflected towards the goal. However Goalkeeper Mohammed Nawaz displayed excellent awareness and reflexes to catch it just in time.
Aaron D Silva then attempted a shot from 30 yards but did not disturb the target as his shot sailed way over the bar. Hyderabad’s finnish midfielder Petteri Pennanenis is then brought down by Mehtab Singh in the Mumbai half, earning him a Yellow card.
In the 66th minute, Apuia was again brought down in the center of the field, and the resulting free-kick from Greg Stewart into the box was headed wide by Mehtab Singh.
In the 70th minute of the match, Felipe Amorim outmaneuvered his marker to send in a precise cross into the box. Hyderabad FC’s Jonathan Moya, positioned in the center of the box, attempted to head the ball down under pressure from Mehtab Singh. However, the header lacked the necessary power, making it an easy collection for the vigilant Mumbai City FC goalkeeper, Nawaz.
Moments later, Sahil Tavora orchestrated a clever move, releasing Mohammad Yasir through on goal. Yasir, with a burst of speed, took a left-footed shot from outside the box that came agonizingly close to the target, narrowly missing to the right
In the 76th minute, the deadlock was finally broken, but with a twist. Greg Stewart, from the edge of the box, found Bipin who made a run behind the Hyderabad defense. Bipin got past the keeper, cutting in for Chhangte at the other end. However, the ball deflected off a Hyderabad defender, Manoj Mohammed, and nestled into the back of his own net, sending the home fans into jubilation.
The goal put a spring on Islanders’ legs as they started attacking more with Skipper Rahul Bheke pushing forward on the wings. Apuia too has a shot from Distance but the sailed over the bar
Soon Hyderabad FC pushed forward in search of an equalizer. Nikhil Poojary sends in a teasing ball in to the Mumbai Box that Hyderabad Striker Felipe Amorim heads wide of the target. Few minutes later, another attempt from Hyderabad immediately followed resulting in a Corner headed over the bar by Oswaldo.
In the Second minute of added time, Hyderabad midfielder Sahil Tavora turns past his marker to get into the box with the ball however he miscues his final shot over the bar.
Minute before full time whistle, Hyderabad FC pulled off a dramatic equalizer. Joe Knowles received the ball on the right side of the box and sent in a cross into the centre. The ball deflected off Tiri bounced just in front of Nawaz and snuck into the net, despite the keeper’s efforts.
In the final seconds of the game, another attack saw from the wings found Hyderabad FC’s Jonathan Moya inside the box. However, the striker’s attempt with his back against the goal went wide of the target.
The match ended with a 1-1 scoreline, concluding a thrilling encounter filled with drama, resilience, and remarkable moments. Mumbai City FC next face Punjab FC away from home on November 2 and will look to get back on winning ways before facing Al Hilal FC in the AFC Champions League home leg four days later on November 6.