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ISL 2017-18: Iain Hume strikes again as Kerala Blasters FC pip Mumbai City FC

Iain Hume’s controversial strike gave Kerala Blasters a 1-0 win over Mumbai City FC in their Indian Super League encounter in Mumbai today.

football Updated: Jan 15, 2018 17:50 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
ISL,Iain Hume,Kerala Blasters FC
Iain Hume scored the winner for Kerala Blasters FC during their Indian Super League vs Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai today. (ISL / SPORTZPICS)

There was not a quiet moment at the Mumbai Football Arena as Iain Hume scored a controversial goal to give Kerala Blasters FC a 1-0 win over Mumbai City FC on Sunday. (Highlights)

The victory takes Kerala to sixth position on 14 points, below Mumbai only on goal difference.

A 2000 plus strong contingent of Kerala fans had taken over in the 7000 capacity stadium. The Mumbai loyalty had turned up in their usual numbers to fill up the rest of the stands. Both sets of fans almost taking turns in making their presence felt with loud and purposeful chanting; Kerala certainly won that battle as well.

Achille Emana was Mumbai’s live wire throughout the first half, creating a couple of good chances that Balwant Singh unable to capitalise on. Skipper Lucian Goian swept up well for the home side at the back but could not prevent Hume from netting his fourth goal in two games in the 23rd minute.

A quickly taken free-kick by Courage Pekuson, one that was clearly taken a few yards ahead of where the foul was actually committed found Hume who kept his nerve to slot past Amrinder Singh. Even as Hume made his way to Kerala fans, looking back to seek confirmation of the goal, Mumbai players had surrounded the referee in protest, but the goal stood.

“I do not understand why the goal was allowed. When the free kick was taken the ball was five metres ahead of where the foul was committed. But we still tried to recover by imposing our game. From the moment we suffered that goal, we tried different ways to get the draw. But now we must think ahead as the result means that anyone can make the play-offs,” said Mumbai’s coach Alexandre Guimaraes speakin at post match gathering.

Kerala coach David James was of the opinion that his side put in a deserving performance and also praised the fans for their unrelenting support.

“We fought hard and took our opportunity and put it away. We defended superbly for the whole game, a joint effort from the whole team.

The fans have been superb again. Today it was like we were in our home ground. It was a tough game but the fans certainly lifted us up,” said James.

Thiago Santos had a good chance to bring Mumbai back to level terms just before half time as he cut past Wes Brown into the box but his effort was parried away by a diving Subhasish Chowdhury.

Kerala coach David James brought on CK Vineeth for Dutch forward Markos Sifneos as the second half got under way.

Balwant found himself in a great position just minutes after restart with Everton Santos’ header falling into his path. But the striker took too long to get his shot away as it was cleared off the line by Lalruatthara.

Kerala could have easily doubled their lead in the 65th minute with Pekuson breaking free off a counter with Vineeth open on his right. But the Ghanaian tried to do it all himself but ended up shooting way above the cross bar and into the stand.

The visiting team had another good chance in the final ten minutes as Goian brought down Vineeth just outside the box. Hume curled a low shot outside the wall to force Amrinder into making a good save.

Mumbai pressed on in the final minutes of regulation time with the referee awarding another five minutes to make up for the lost minutes. And Mumbai almost made it count in the 94th minute as Sanju Pradhan’s header fell to Leo Costa just outside the box. But the Brazilian substitute’s powerful effort could only rattle Subhasish’s left post to Mumbai’s agony.

First Published: Jan 14, 2018 22:55 IST