Novak Djokovic made a winning return to action as he fought his way into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Ivan Gakhov.
Mumbai City FC extended their unbeaten streak in the Indian Super League (ISL) to a record-breaking 16 games after an extraordinary comeback victory over Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.
Boris Singh had put the hosts in front in the 63rd minute before Lallianzuala Chhangte and Vikram Singh turned the game on its head in the final ten minutes to seal a 2-1 victory for the visitors. The win extended the Islanders’ lead at the top of the table to seven points. Aidy Boothroyd made four changes to his team and brought in TP Rehenesh, Pratik Chaudhari, Boris Singh and Jay Thomas. Rafael Crivellaro started from the bench. Des Buckingham made a couple of changes with Sanjeev Stalin and Mandar Dessai coming into the starting lineup.
At the midway point of the first half, Jamshedpur FC had seven attempts compared to Mumbai City FC’s two. However, only one out of all efforts was on target, and that came in the 15th minute when Ritwik Das took on Stalin and made his way inwards before forcing a save out of Phurba Lachenpa at the near post.
In the 42nd minute, Daniel Chuwku headed the ball into the back of the net from a corner, but the referee blew his whistle for a foul in the crowded penalty area as the deadlock remained intact at the break with Mumbai City FC failing to get a single shot on target in the first half for only the second time this season.
Around the hour-mark, a series of Jamshedpur FC attacks wreaked havoc in the Mumbai City FC penalty area. Ritwik’s effort was cleared off the line by Ahmed Jahouh, but eventually, the hard work paid off for the Red Miners as Boris broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute.
Ritwik played a sublime through pass to the winger, who beat Mehtab in the box before beating Lachenpa from a tight angle at the near post as the hosts took a well-deserved lead.
Ten minutes from time, parity was restored via Chhangte. Bipin Singh whipped in a low cross from the left flank straight into the path of Chhangte, who slotted it in from close range.
The comeback was complete in the 86th minute when Vikram Singh’s cross from the right flank flew over Rehnesh’s outstretched arm and into the goal, giving the Islanders their 11th consecutive win in the ISL, and also taking them past the league stage record of 46 goals previously held by FC Goa.
Both sides will be in action next on February 4. Mumbai City FC will head into a colossal clash with Hyderabad FC with a seven-point lead but without the suspended Ahmed Jahouh.
At the other end of the table, Jamshedpur FC will travel to Guwahati to take on NorthEast United FC.