In their inaugural home fixture of the 2023-24 Indian Super League (ISL) season, Mumbai City FC secured a narrow 2-1 victory over Kerala Blasters FC at the Mumbai Football Arena. Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Lalengmawia Ralte were the goal-scorers for Mumbai, while Danish Farooq scored for Kerala Blasters.
The opening goal came in added time of the first half when Jorge Pereyra Diaz found the net. Mumbai’s captain, Rahul Bheke, capitalized on space on the right flank and delivered a precise cross into the box. Diaz managed to get his foot to the ball and slotted it past Kerala Blasters’ goalkeeper Sachin Suresh, giving Mumbai a one-goal lead.
Kerala Blasters nearly equalized early in the second half through Dimitrios Diamantakos as they regrouped and increased their efforts to find an equalizer. Danish Farooq scored a goal for Kerala after rushing into the 18-yard box to meet a cross from Sandeep Singh, who was introduced as a substitute to bolster their attack.
However, Mumbai City FC recognized that they were facing challenges in the midfield and adjusted their strategy. Apuia took on a more advanced role and formed an attacking trio with Greg Stewart and Diaz. This adjustment paid off as Apuia displayed awareness to get behind Kerala’s defense and headed the ball past the goalkeeper, securing the winning goal for Mumbai.
Kerala Blasters’ efforts to stage a late comeback were unsuccessful, and both teams had players sent off in the closing moments of the match. Mumbai City FC will host Hyderabad FC in their next fixture on October 28, while Kerala Blasters will resume their season after the international break by facing NorthEast United FC on October 21.
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