Mumbai City FC picked up their fourth consecutive win as they edged past Chennaiyin FC in their fifth match of the Indian Super League (ISL) season on Wednesday at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim.
Jakub Sylvestr had handed Chennaiyin the lead in the 40th minute but Hernan Santana (45+4') and Adam Le Fondre's (75') strikes sealed three points for the Islanders.
Four changes were made by Sergio Lobera in the Mumbai lineup which defeated Odisha in their last match. Amey Ranawade, Hernan Santana, Raynier Fernandes and Adam Le Fondre replaced Mohammed Rakip, Mehtab Singh, CY Goddard and Bartholomew Ogbech.
Csaba Laszlo, on the other hand, made two changes in Chennaiyin starting eleven. Injured Anirudh Thapa was replaced by Germanpreet Singh in midfield and Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev came in for Esmael Goncalves on the right flank.
Chennaiyin went all guns blazing right from the off and looked hungry to pick up an early goal. Lallianzuala Chhangte could have handed them the lead early in the game when he found himself in a very good position to score after receiving a through ball from Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev but the winger’s shot was off target.
The Marina Machans were dealt with a blow within first 20 minutes of the match as ace defender Enes Sipovic had to leave the pitch after picking up an injury. Memo Moura replaced him in the central defence.
Mumbai City kept more possession of the ball in the first half but failed to penetrate much in their attacking third as the Chennaiyin defenders did not allow them much space.
Chennaiyin finally broke the deadlock in the 40th minute thanks to a brilliant effort from Chhangte who made a solo run down the right flank beating three Mumbai players in the process and squared the ball in the centre and Jakub Sylvestr did not make a mistake in slotting the ball home.
The Islanders restored parity just a minute before the half time whistle when Hernan Santana headed the ball in from Hugo Boumous' corner. Vishal Kaith was at fault as he came out of his line but could not fist the ball away.
Chennaiyin's intensity dropped drastically in the second half as Mumbai commanded proceedings. Unlike the first half, the Islanders were proactive in their attacking third.
Mumbai finally took the lead in the 75th minute thanks Adam Le Fondre's strike. A long free-kick from Jahouh was kept in play by Borges inside the box and Boumous nudged it with his head towards an unmarked Le Fondre who comfortably placed the ball into the net.
The Marina Machans went all out after conceding and had come agonisingly close to equalise in the final second of the match when Jakub Sylvestr had a free header to convert from Crivellaro's cross but the ball went wide by inches.
Lobera's men remain at the top of the league table with 12 points from five matches while Laszlo's side remained on the eighth position with four points from as many games.