SPOILS SHARED AT THE MARINA ARENA

Marina Arena, Chennai hosted match day 8 of ISL 6 which saw Chennaiyin take on Mumbai City FC.

With a long list of injuries, Mumbai started an all Indian back line. Crivellaro started instead of Saighani for Chennaiyin.

Chennaiyin almost went 1-0 up,seconds after kickoff, when Schembri’s attempt was blocked by Amrinder and a follow up shot by Crivellaro was deflected above the crossbar due to Amrinder’s excellent reflexive save. Crivellaro again threatened to score on the 11th minute with a long range effort but it sailed inches over. Another chance for Chennai saw Chhangte’s blocked shot fall kindly to Crivellaro who pulled it wide of the goal. The first 20 minutes were clearly dominated by Chennai. Mumbai just couldn’t settle into the game. A loose back pass on the 24th however putSabia and Kaith in no man’s land. Chermiti pounced on this opportunity and tried to lob the keeper, instead put it way above the crossbar. Replays however showed the ball movea little due to the turf, which in turn put Chermiti off.

With 7 injuries already before the start of the game, another was added to the list when Sougou came off on the 24th minute due to what appeared to be a hamstring problem. Minutes later, Chermiti missed the target from point blank range and put this stooping header above the crossbar.A ball played by RayniertoKevyn, over the defense of Chennai put him one on one with Kaith. But Kevyn however placed his attempt wide of the post. Mumbai had several opportunities to go ahead but failed to keep them on target. The referee blew the half time whistle at the end of the 2 minutes extra time added on. On any other day for either team, this half would never have ended goalless. Mumbai however finished the half stronger than Chennai.

The second half started off with a booking for Souvik for a tackle on Chhangte who was too quick for the Mumbai defender. The Mumbai defense was caught napping on the 53rd minute when a quick pass was played to Sabia. The defender’s shot however was straight at Amrinder who was able to get it away for a corner. Machado, brought on at the hour mark, played a defense splitting pass to Kevyn who’s first time hit was a relatively easy stop for the goal keeper. Both teams shifted a gear down, as the game slowed down towards the 70th minute.

Valskis looked lively after being brought on by John Gregory. He had two shots on goal in quick time, one which he dragged wide and another which hit Sarthak lounging to block the shot. No real opportunities fell for either team as both gave away possession easily and made errors on many occasions.

The fourth official signal for 4 minutes added. Sauvik was sent off for a second bookable offense in the dying minutes of extra time. But this did not prove fatal for Mumbai as there was no time remaining for Chennai to make use of the extra man. Both teams shared a point each after a thrilling goalless draw.

Sarthak put in an excellent shift in defense and hence was named ‘Hero of the Match’. His relentless effort throughout the game was crucial for Mumbai to keep a clean sheet. Mumbai are now in 2nd place on the table after taking 4 of the available 6 points.

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