In their inaugural home match of the season, Mumbai City FC secured a 2-1 victory against Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League on Sunday, with goals from Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Lalengmawia Ralte. This win solidified Des Buckingham’s team’s undefeated record in the competition, now standing strong after three rounds. The match was intense, with tempers flaring on the pitch and in the dugouts, leading to a total of 10 yellow cards and two straight red cards issued by the referee in the final minutes, turning the game rather ugly.
Mumbai City FC vs Kerala Blasters: ISL 10
With 10 additional minutes in the second half, chaos erupted when Kerala’s Milos Drincic pushed Mumbai’s Mehtab Singh to the ground, resulting in red cards for both Drincic and Yoell van Nieff. Although the hosts eventually secured three points, it was far from a positive moment for the tournament, especially considering it was celebrating its 10th season.
Before kickoff, despite the humid conditions, there were extensive attendees outside the Mumbai Football Arena, with away fans outnumbering the home supporters. The presence of a significant number of police personnel, possibly due to the attendance of Nita Ambani and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach graced the occasion
The first half didn’t provide much excitement on the pitch as both teams attempted to find their rhythm. The most significant opportunity arose in the ninth minute when Mumbai’s striker Diaz received a through ball from the right side of the box but was thwarted by Sachin Suresh from close range.
Around the half-hour mark, the home team seized control of the game, mounting pressure from both flanks. Their efforts paid off as Diaz capitalized on a scrappy piece of defending by the visitors to tap in the ball.
In the second half, the Blasters adopted a more aggressive approach and managed to level the score in the 57th minute when Danish Farooq headed the ball into the net from the center of the box. However, their celebration didn’t last long, as Ralte restored Mumbai’s lead just nine minutes later with another scrappy goal, taking advantage of a defensive lapse by the Blasters.The remainder of the match saw more physical clashes between players than quality gameplay. Mumbai held on to their lead, and Coach Buckingham quickly gathered his players in a huddle after the final whistle.
Kerala, who had previously defeated Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC in their first two matches, dropped to fourth place in the points table. Meanwhile, Mumbai, who had previously defeated NorthEast United and drawn with Odisha, moved up to the second position.