2022-23 Indian Super League, Regular Season
  • Jorge Pereyra Díaz (23' PEN)
  • Hitesh Sharma (65')

ISL 2022-23: Mumbai City FC stay in pole position for shield after 1-1 draw with Hyderabad FC

Jorge Pereyra Diaz celebrates scoring Mumbai City FC's opener against Hyderabad. Sandeep Shetty/Focus Sports/ISL

Mumbai City FC stayed seven points clear at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) standings after a 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday evening.

Jorge Pereyra Diaz opened the scoring for Mumbai from the penalty spot in the first half, but Hitesh Sharma found an equaliser for Hyderabad midway through the second half.

After an intense opening where neither side was able to keep possession for sustained periods, Lallianzuala Chhangte provided the first moment of quality, as he breezed past a couple of defenders and exchanged passes with Apuia before firing his shot high from close range.

Chhangte was again in the action a few minutes later, playing an inch-perfect cross to Bipin Singh, whose goal-bound header was handled by Nikhil Poojary. The referee took a lenient view of things and showed the Hyderabad right-back only a yellow card, despite there being enough reason for it to have been red.

More questions over the refereeing were raised just a few minutes before half-time, when Sanjeev Stalin brought down Rohit Danu when the latter was through on goal. Referee Harish Kundu had his red card out, but after protests from the Mumbai players, he decided to speak to his assistant and changed his decision to show Stalin only a yellow card.

Halicharan Narzary's introduction early in the second half changed the game for Hyderabad, who were getting more forays into the Mumbai half. They found their equaliser in the 65th minute, as Hitesh Sharma ran through on goal, and beat Phurba Lachenpa at his near post.

After that, Hyderabad were almost a non-entity in attack, and it was Mumbai who tried to press home the initiative by bringing on Greg Stewart for the last 15 minutes. The Scot nearly pulled out a winner for the hosts, with a lovely take and turn in the box, but his shot was superbly saved by Gurmeet, who ensured Hyderabad would take a point home..

Des Buckingham's side now have 43 points from 17 matches, whereas Hyderabad are on 36 from 16 matches. Mumbai need two more wins to assure themselves of the shield, while Hyderabad will now look to FC Goa and Bengaluru FC to do them favours by beating Mumbai.