A Pritam Kotal own-goal midway through the first half rescued a point for Mumbai City FC against their opponents from last year’s Final, ATK Mohun Bagan. However, the draw stretched the Islanders’ winless run to seven games.
The reigning champions are in trouble; their seventh successive game without a win has seen Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City slip from first to sixth in the Indian Super League table. The Islanders were held 1-1 in their latest game by ATK Mohun Bagan – the team they defeated in last season’s final – despite the two sides sharing 38 shots on target (20-18 in favor of ATKMB).
ATKMB scored first at the Fatorda, a goal that came about due to their desire to win the ball high up the pitch. The ever-so-reliable Ahmed Jahouh found himself crowded out on the edge of his own penalty box. Hugo Boumous pinched the ball away from him, David Williams collected it, shook off a challenge from Jahouh – who, in an attempt to amend his mistake and steal the ball back, went to the ground early – before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Mumbai City had fallen behind in the ninth minute, but fifteen minutes later, a whipped cross from Bipin Singh deflected off of ATKMB defender Pritam Kotal and flew past a wrong-footed Amrinder Singh, restoring parity. Mumbai nearly took the lead through Rahul Bheke as the clock signaled half-an-hour of football played, but his header from a corner was straight at the goalkeeper.
As the half continued, ATKMB mounted the pressure – and the shot count – on their opponents. Manvir Singh had a cross-cum-shot tipped away by Mohammad Nawaz in the 31st minute, and, five minutes later, Williams hit the post with his header.
The Mumbai custodian presented the Mariners with a good goalscoring opportunity when he rushed off his line, halfway through to the centre circle, but failed to clear the ball. However, Nawaz held Boumous as the Mumbai defense retreated before quickly returning to his goal, just in time to deny Liston Colaco with his feet.
Mumbai grew into the game after the interval. Debutant Lalrinzuala Chhangte tested his luck from distance, as did Igor Angulo, but to no avail. Both sides grew desperate as the time wound down but, lacking a match-winner, had to settle for a point a-piece.