Mumbai City FC lost their fourth group stage of the AFC Champions League, as Asian giants Al Hilal beat them 2-0 in a tight, hard-fought encounter at the DY Patil stadium, Navi Mumbai. Second half goals from Michael and Aleksander Mitrovic saw Al Hilal cement their place atop the group table, after a red card for a second yellow to Mumbai's Mehtab Singh. This comes after a 0-6 reverse at the King Fahd stadium in Riyadh a few weeks ago.
Mumbai started the match brightly, Jorge Pereyra Diaz's and Lallianzuala Chhangte's running and pace in-behind creating early trouble. Early on Diaz was sent through, but Saudi national team keeper Mohammed Al Owais came off his line well to clear. Mumbai won a fair few corners, but after that early flurry, Al Owais was rarely troubled. Instead, most of the match was played in Mumbai's half.
With Des Buckingham playing an uncharacteristic 5-4-1, the centre of midfield, and the Mumbai penalty box was packed with bodies, and Al Hilal struggled to work their way through. Salem Al Dawsari saw a one-on-one saved in the first half, and then in the second half saw Al Hilal's best chance till then as he misplaced a shot from inside the six-yard box after a lovely move through the midfield.
In the 54th minute. Mehtab got a second yellow for a foul on Ruben Neves (the first came after a first-half tussle with Mitrovic), and with that Al Hilal took complete control of possession. In the 62nd minute, Michael made the man advantage count heading home from close range after a superb cross from Al Burayk down the left. Al Hilal continued to dominate, with Mitrovic hitting the post with a thunderous volley from the edge of the box. The Serbian forward finally got his goal when he headed home another cross in from the left from Malcom in the 85th minute.
(Please wait a few seconds for the blog to load. Please click here if it doesn't.)