Hyderabad, Mumbai City play out entertaining stalemate.
Hitesh Sharma gets first ISL goal as the game ends in a 1-1 draw
Mumbai: Hyderabad FC put on a spirited display at the Mumbai Football Arena on a warm Saturday evening as they came back from a goal down to register a point at the home of the league leaders.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz (23’) scored from the spot in the first half while Hitesh Sharma (65’) scored his first ever Indian Super League goal, to set up a nail-biting finish against the Islanders.
Both teams looked rough at the start and it was the first real attack of the night that saw Bipin Singh in plenty of space at the far post. The cross was good and the header was goal-bound but it struck Nikhil Poojary’s arm, and the referee pointed to the spot.
Pereyra Diaz made no mistake as Mumbai City took the lead and managed to hold on to it till the end of the first half, but not without drama.
First it was Rostyn Griffiths with a rash challenge that could have seen him sent off. He only saw yellow, lived on to pull Mohammad Yasir back a few minutes later and was lucky to not be sent off.
Then it was Sanjeev Stalin, who grabbed Rohit Danu’s shorts, when he was through on goal. Danu got goal side, the referee, Harish Kundu decided to take out his red card, and almost sent Stalin on his way.
But pressure from the Men in Blue saw Kundu talk to the 4th official and decide to only give out a yellow. Mumbai were lucky to go into the break with 11-men and had a tough time after the restart.
Bartholomew Ogbeche, Joel Chianese, Yasir and Halicharan Narzary started to make some inroads but it was Hitesh Sharma’s late run from deep that broke Phurba Lachenpa’s goal.
Yasir laid off the perfect ball for Sharma, who did really well to find the corner from a tight angle.
Hyderabad pushed on, throwing on the likes of Javi Siverio, Abdul Rabeeh and Sahil Tavora but the hosts carved a couple of chances that had to be saved.
And Gurmeet Singh, who has been in top form recently, had the answer time and again, and made sure that it ended all square at Mumbai Football Arena.
This draw breaks Mumbai City’s 11-game winning streak but they remain undefeated, with 43 points from 17 games.
Hyderabad remain in second, seven points adrift, with 36 points from 16 games.
Manolo Marquez’s side are back in action when they take on Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Friday, February 10.