Mumbai City FC has made their home turf a bastion lately, and their 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 tonight testified that tall claim. The Islanders were at the receiving end of the first regulation time red card of the season for their goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa in the 7th minute.
Hyderabad attacker Joe Knowles has been impressive throughout the season, and he was close to scoring the first goal of the evening when he spotted a disoriented opposition backline and approached towards goal. Lachenpa went for the ball, taking him outside the 18-yard box. Unable to use his hands anymore, the custodian brought Knowles down with his feet. A clear send-off from the referee was on the cards, and so it followed. Vikram Pratap Singh’s start didn’t last long and head coach Des Buckingham replaced the winger with Mohammed Nawaz.
A hallmark of champion teams is their instant adaptability in dealing with any adversity, and the Islanders immediately regrouped to ensure that Hyderabad couldn’t reap rewards of the one-man advantage. Midfielders began donning a more reserved role to ensure that Hyderabad and their skilful frontline was kept at bay.
At the same time, their premier attacking figures such as Bipin Singh and Greg Stewart continued their pursuit of the opening strike of the night. As the game entered its final 15 minutes, Stewart played a through ball to Bipin whose shot was thwarted by Gurmeet Singh. Hyderabad substitute Manoj Mohammed ended up being at the wrong spot though, with the ball rebounding off his feet to roll into the back of the net.
Mumbai City FC put on a spirited effort to keep Hyderabad FC from scoring. Yet, the numerical advantage that Hyderabad held over Mumbai helped them finally, with Knowles striking in home from a narrow angle that took the deflection of Tiri in the 96th minute of the game.
Key Performer of the Match
Joe Knowles (Hyderabad FC)
Knowles has been the sole shining light amidst Hyderabad’s goal-scoring concerns this season. From creating chances to netting goals, the Australian has given it all to his team in the four matches so far. Tonight, he made an opportunity that finally converted into a goal, and ensured that his team didn’t walk away from the City of Dreams with empty hands.
What’s next for both teams?
Mumbai City FC will host Punjab FC for their next fixture in the league on November 2, whereas Hyderabad will square off against Bengaluru FC at the Gachibowli Stadium on November 4.
Mumbai City FC (Manoj Mohammed 76’) 1 – 1 (Tiri 90+6’) Hyderabad FC