ISL 2019-20: Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City FC Share Spoils as Messi, Chermiti Score 2 Minutes Apart

ISL 2019-20: Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City FC Share Spoils as Messi, Chermiti Score 2 Minutes Apart

News18 Sports

Mumbai: Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters FC played out a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 encounter at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday.

Raphael Messi Bouli (75′) put Kerala in the lead but Mumbai hit back with an Amine Chermiti strike (77′) to share the spoils. Mumbai and Kerala are without a win in six matches and find themselves at sixth and eighth spot on the table, with just a point separating them.

Chasing their second win of the season, Kerala Blasters showed plenty of intent early on but lacked an end product as they dominated the the first 30 minutes of play.

A 12th minute Raju Gaikwad throw-in found its way towards Seityasen Singh who shot wide from a one-on-one position with Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.

Messi, who led the Kerala Blasters attack in the absence of injured Bartholomew Ogbeche, was a handful for the Mumbai defence throughout the match. Midway through the first half, the Cameroonian striker pulled off a brilliant overhead effort from inside the box off Jessel Carneiro’s cross from the left, but was denied a goal-of-the-season contender by the outstretched hands of Amrinder.

Mumbai slowly regained control in midfield and threatened before the break with Rowllin Borges and Moudou Sougou combining to carve out two good chances. Borges did well to find Sougou out wide and the forward’s cross for Chermiti was punched away by TP Rehenesh, before a similar cross from the same combination saw Mohammed Larbi head over the bar.

The game evened up after the change of ends, with Mumbai turning more aggressive in their approach.

The Islanders were brilliantly denied twice by Rehenesh who kept Kerala Blasters in the contest. The goalkeeper was quick to rush off his line to get to Chermiti’s dangerous long pass before the intended target, Bipin Singh, could receive it inside the box.

Minutes later, Borges split the Kerala defence with an excellent through-ball that released Bipin into the box. The Kerala Blasters custodian sprinted out of his area and blocked the forward’s shot.

After impressing throughout the game with his movement upfront, Messi broke the deadlock for the visitors in the 75th minute. Jeakson Singh dribbled into the box and forced a save off Amrinder but Jessel delivered the rebound across the goal for the striker whose first-time left-footed strike found the back of the net.

However, the away side’s celebrations didn’t last long as Chermiti came up with an equaliser two minutes later. Paulo Machado headed a Sarthak Golui cross into the path of an unmarked Chermiti who beat Rehenesh on his second attempt following a scramble inside the box, ensuring the two teams share the spoils.

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