In the Group D opening, Mumbai City wins against Churchill Brothers

Raynier Fernandes - Mumbai City vs Hyderabad FC - ISL

On Tuesday, 11 April 2023, Mumbai City FC defeated Churchill Brothers FC 2-1 at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri in their inaugural Hero Super Cup 2023 match. Mumbai City had to earn their victory against the I-League side after falling behind early in the game.

Churchill Brothers caught the Hero Indian Super League 2022-23 Shield Champions off guard early in the game. In the ninth minute, striker Ansumana Kromah snatched the ball away from Mumbai custodian Phurba Lachenpa. And deposited it in the back of the net to make it 1-0. That stunned the ISL team, but it also provided Churchill with much-needed motivation and confidence in their game.

Des Buckingham’s men regrouped and launched wave after wave of assaults, ultimately equalising in the 27th minute. Mumbai City pulled level thanks to the head of defender Mehtab Singh, who headed in Rowllin Borges’ beautiful cross.

Suddenly, Mumbai City was driving the game, producing a flurry of opportunities. The greatest of them fell to Vikram Partap Singh. He latched on to a cross after some excellent individual play on the right side by Lallianzuala Chhangte. The youthful striker failed to control the ball correctly and squandered a fantastic chance to put his club ahead.

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Soon after, a rising Rahul Bheke met Vignesh Dakshinamoorthy’s lobbed pass for Mumbai City. Bheke, the captain for the day, attempted to score but was stopped by the width of the crossbar.

Yet it wasn’t all one way traffic. Churchill waited patiently to play on the counter, and Kromah had another chance to put the Goan side ahead just before halftime. The striker had drove into the area with Martin Chaves for assistance, but chose to go alone and missed the goal by an inch.

The opening chance of the second half belonged to Chaves, whose shot was well saved by Lachenpa. Shortly after, Mumbai City almost seized the lead, with substitute Gurkirat Singh headed towards goal from a Borges cross, only to be denied by Nora Fernandes.

Finally, Mumbai City’s perseverance and excellence shined through. Late in injury time, Vikram Partap Singh was hauled down inside the box by a dangerous tackle, Joseph Clemente the guilty offender. Chhangte stepped up to take the resulting penalty and put it home.

Mumbai City will next play fellow Hero ISL opponents Chennaiyin FC, on 19 April while Churchill Brothers go up against NorthEast United in Manjeri.

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