The Mumbaikars fell prey to visitors Aizawl FC 0-1 on Sunday evening in what was termed Khalid Jamil’s ‘homecoming’ at the Cooperage Football Ground.
Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna (79') ensured that Mumbai succumbed to their second defeat on the trot while Aizawl remains unbeaten.
Santosh Kashyap started the game with a 4-2-3-1 formation with youngster Hitesh Sharma starting up front. Skipper Steven Dias was placed on the bench with Asheer Akhtar replacing the right winger.
As for Aizawl, Khalid Jamil started with a 4-4-2 formation with ex-Yellows Jayesh Rane and Ashutosh Mehta returning to their former stomping ground.
Aizawl dominated the opening exchanges with the first chance created by Zohmingmawia. He laid off the ball for Kamo after good work. However, the latter shot it far too wide.
Mumbai tried their best to break Aizawl’s dominance as The Mumbaikars’ midfield created noteworthy chances. Nikhil Kadam and Pratesh Shirodkar were the men in the spotlight as the duo tried to build up momentum in the midfield.
Thoi Singh, too, contributed in creating chances for The Yellows. In the 40th minute, The Manipuri delivered a high ball for Hitesh Sharma. But, young Sharma couldn't rise high enough to head the ball in.
Aizawl created a precious chance in the dying moments of the first half when the Syrian ace Mahmoud Al Amna took a shot from within the box. However, to the Aizawl fans’ ire, the shot went far too wide.
The two teams entered the tunnel at the half-time level.
The second half began on a dire note as the two teams displayed sloppy football. However, Aizawl bucked up and started building promising moves.
It was in the 79th minute that the visitors broke the deadlock. Mahmoud Al Amna registered his name on the scoresheet following a pass from Lalruatthara. Al Amna made no mistake in slotting the ball into the net as Kattimani was left stunned.
The goal seemed to have taken the stuffing out of Mumbai who also failed to take advantage of several good opportunities late on. Skipper Steven Dias, who was introduced late into the game, had a below-par outing as the winger failed to finish off several moves.
The match ended on a 0-1 score line with the away side consolidating their impressive start to the season while Mumbai have seen the early promise they showed wane away.