Mumbai will face Jamshedpur in a must-win encounter for the top spot. After the defeat to Bengaluru, Islanders cannot drop points, while Red Miners lost to Mariners in the last outing and crashed out from the playoffs.
Match Timings: Feb 20, 7:30 PM IST
Mumbai will be back in action after the shocking 4-2 defeat to Bengaluru. Islanders lost the top spot to Habas’ men, and the Kolkata giants are two points clear at the top spot. Bengaluru took an early lead from the first minute through Silva’s strike, and in the 22nd minute, he scored another goal to double the lead for Blues. The first half ended in Bengaluru’s favour with a 2-0 lead. The second half started with Mumbai’s first strike, which came through Adam Le Fondre. Mumbai were looking for the equaliser, and Blues netted one more goal through Sunil Chhetri. The 3-1 advantage over Mumbai put Blues on the driver’s seat. Fondre tried to add some drama as Mumbai scored its second goal in the 72nd minute. Blues avoided any last-minute equaliser with tight defense, and Chhetri completed his brace with an injury-time strike.
Mumbai are two points behind to Mariners, but they have to play one game with the leaders which can help them to take the top spot back. Before entering into the final league-stage game, the Islanders have to avoid dropping points. Mumbai picked up just four points from the last five matches with losing two games. At one stage, they were the clear contender to break the AFC Champions League's maiden qualification. Mumbai’s next game will be up against the Odisha, so they can easily take three points from the next match.
Meanwhile, Jamhsedpur’s playoff hopes ended with the defeat against the Mariners in the last match. Red Miners can reach a maximum of 27 points, and with the victories from Goa and Hyderabad, they have been eliminated from the top four. Red Miners got a free kick in the third minute, but Aitor Monroy’s delivery failed to get past the net. In the 7th minute, Kolkata giants had a penalty appeal. Roy Krishna was brought down after a collision with Peter Hartley, but the referee denied the penalty. Jamshedpur got another chance, but Monroy missed this chance. Rehenesh made a good save after the cooling break when he stopped a powerful shot from David Williams.
After a goalless first-half, Mariners came strongly in the second half. Krishna tested TP Rehenesh, and the pressure among the Jamshedpur’s defense paid off as Roy Krishna sent the ball into the net in the 85th minute with a top finish. This defeat closed all the doors for Jamshedpur now. Goa, Jamshedpur, and Northeast are equaled at 27 points, the maximum point mark to Jamshedpur. It would be disheartening to see Jamshedpur out of the playoffs, but they can blame themselves for this downfall.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
TP Rehenesh, Laldinliana Renthlei, Stephen Eze, Peter Hartley, Ricky Lallawmawma, Aitor Monroy, Alex Lima, Len Doungel, William Lalnunfela, Farukh Choudhary, David Grande
Current Form: L W L W D
Previous Match: 1-0 loss to Mohun B.
Amrinder Singh (GK), Mourtada Fall, Amey Ranawade, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Hernan Santana, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Ahmed Jahouh, Cy Goddard, Bipin Singh, Adam Le Fondre
Current Form: L D W L D
Previous Match: 4-2 loss to Bengaluru
8 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
3 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
Adam le Fondre
11 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21