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Bengaluru FC have a tough challenge on hand when they face off against Mumbai City FC at the Kanteerava today. The Blues narrowly escaped defeat against Northeast United when a
An unbeaten Bengaluru
Strong across all areas of the pitch especially in defence and midfield, Bengaluru will be casually optimistic of picking up a point or a win against a Mumbai side on the upsurge.
Mumbai City FC
They are on a great run of form with their unbeaten run stretching to six games in which they managed to keep five clean sheets. They looked very comfortable in their 2-0 win over Chennaiyin in their previous game.
A strong defensive core with Lucian Goian at the heart of it and a hard-working midfield and forward line have been essential components in Mumbai’s run into the top 4.
Bengaluru’s front three of Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri and Chencho Gyeltshen will have a lot to do to outdo Mumbai’s defence especially with Miku on the treatment table.
With Mumbai’s attack efficient and not prolific, there is a chance these two strong defensive units hold fort and play out a draw.
FULL-TIME: Bengaluru FC 1-1 Mumbai City FC
52′ RED CARD [Sehnaj Singh, second yellow, Mumbai City FC]
31′ GOAL! 1-1 [Modou Sougou, Header, Assist: Arnold Issoko, Mumbai City FC]
23′ GOAL! 1-0 [Udanta Singh, Header, Assist: Rahul Bheke, Bengaluru FC]
A 10-man Mumbai City FC matched the league leaders Bengaluru FC every step of the way to pick up a point and move into second place on the points table.
Bengaluru started off brighter of the two teams with their natural full-backs Rahul Bheke and Nishu Kumar playing on opposite flanks with Rahul Bheke up against Arnold Issoko.
An early through ball from Sunil Chhetri found Chencho in the 18 yard box only for the forward to shoot wide. Bengaluru opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Udanta Singh headed the ball in from a left-footed Rahul Bheke cross.
Mumbai’s Modou Sougou has been slowly establishing himself as one of the best strikers in the league and his positioning has been on point. Tonight was no exception. He got the equalizer for Mumbai a few minutes later when he got his head to an Arnold Issoko ball.
Rafael Bastos had a couple of good chances to put Mumbai in the lead, but he couldn’t get on the scoresheet.
The game changed on its head when a needless second yellow card offence by the Mumbai midfielder Sehnaj Singh found Mumbai reduced to 10 men.
Looking at the xG graph from the game, the red card meant Mumbai were on the backfoot as is evident from the ‘Running Sum xG’ stat.
Bengaluru laid a late siege on the Mumbai goal and managed a couple of chances, but the Islanders and especially their custodian Amrinder Singh stood tall and strong as the game eased into a draw.
The match tonight can essentially be a blueprint for other teams on how to play against Bengaluru. Tonight’s game proved the Blues’ are not invincible and their frailty at the back was exposed time and again by a tireless Arnold
If not for the poor decision-making by Sehnaj Singh to get himself sent off, Mumbai could very well have ended up with three points.