Mumbai City FC go down 0-2 against FC Pune City

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai: A depleted Mumbai City FC went down to FC Pune City 0-2 in the 12th round of the Hero Indian Super League at the Shiv Chattrapati stadium, Balewadi.

Nigerian striker MacPherlin Dudu Omagbemi scored both the goals for the hosts in the second half, leaving the visitors with 12 points from as many matches.

The return fixture against a team they had hammered 5-0 at home was always going to be a difficult task for Mumbai City FC, who were missing the creative force of Andre Moritz, marquee signing Freddie Ljungberg and Nicolas Anelka due to injury.

Coach Peter Reid was forced to make four changes to the line-up he fielded in the last game with Mumbai City FC being the first ISL team to field seven Indians. It also meant that goalkeeper Subrata Pal and the defence had to work extra hard in the first half to ensure that they stayed in the hunt.

The India international was once again at the top of his game as he came up with a couple of point blank saves denying Kostas Kastouranis and Dudu just before the half an hour mark.

The introduction of Lalrindika Ralte in the 29th minute added some bite to the Mumbai City FC attack and the experienced Abhishek Yadav had the best chance of the half in the 42nd minute but his header went just wide.

The visitors began the second half with much more purpose and should have taken the lead when FC Pune City defender Pritam Kotal handled the ball inside his penalty box. But Tiago Ribeiro failed to beat Arindam Bhattacharya and gave the hosts a lifeline they grabbed with both hands.

Dudu finally managed to break the resolute defence of Pal when he superbly controlled a Kostas cross on his chest and then volleyed it inside the net from close range in the 66th minute.

The hosts had a chance to double the lead two minutes later but Pal was up to the task as he safely parried a shot from Kwang-II Park.

With the visitors pushing for an equaliser, Dudu found the net for the second time in the 80th minute to take the match away from Mumbai City FC.

“We don’t want to give any excuses. The better team won today. That’s football, that’s how it goes sometimes. We just want to focus on the next two games now,” Mumbai City FC coach Peter Reid said.

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