Mumbai City FC become the first Indian club to win the AFC Asian Champions League | Soccer News


RIYADH: Mumbai City FC made history as they fought back with a goal to stun Iraqi giants Air Force Club 2-1 to become the first Indian club to win a match in the Asian Champions League AFC.
After conceding in the 59th minute of the Group B match, Mumbai City, who won the Indian Super League shield and trophy in the 2020-21 season, equalized with a 70th-minute penalty from Diego Mauricio after being knocked over in the box.
Defender Rahul Bheke scored his side’s decisive goal, with a 75th-minute header from a corner on Monday night.
Mumbai had lost its opening match against Al Shabab 0-3.

After a scoreless first half, substitute Hammadi Ahmad put three-time AFC Cup champions Air Force Club ahead before Mumbai City rallied with goals from Maurício and Bheke to seal the historic victory at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.
The Air Force Club asserted themselves in the match from the first minutes, blocking Mumbai City deep in their own half, but the Iraqi team could not convert their chances.
Air Force Club’s Alaa Abbas was causing all sorts of trouble for Mumbai City but the striker should have done better in the ninth minute when his tame effort was easily collected by goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa.
Mumbai City got their first look at goal just before the half-hour mark, Ahmed Jahouh finding space before setting up for Lallianzuala Chhangte, who blasted his effort from long range.

At the other end, Air Force Club missed a chance after Abbas headed a Dhurgham Ismail delivery over the bar before the latter tried to force his shot from a tight angle.
Hakeem Shakir’s side were nearly caught off guard in the 31st minute when Mumbai City’s Ahmed Jahouh sent an inviting cross into the danger zone, but Diego Maurício couldn’t keep his header effort on target.
The best chance of the half came to the Air Force Club in the 34th minute, but Hussein Jabbar struggled to guide Ismail’s effort into the net from close range while Chhangte was forced to a fingertip save three minutes later, negating Abbas’ effort.
Vikram Singh had a golden opportunity to put Mumbai City ahead with two minutes remaining but Jabbar was in the right place to thwart his effort.
Air Force Club nearly punished Mumbai City in the 52nd minute when Ismail dispossessed Jahouh at the top of the box before setting up Shareef Abdulkadhim, who, with only the keeper to beat, sent his effort wide.

The goal finally came for the Air Force Club seven minutes later when a quick attacking move in the Mumbai half put the Iraqi side in front after Ahmad cooly tucked the ball in the bottom of the net from inside the penalty area.
Mumbai City, however, weren’t denied when they were awarded a 70th-minute penalty after Ali Kadhim fouled Maurício, the Brazilian making no mistake converting from the spot.
The equalizer proved to be a turning point in the match as Bheke doubled Mumbai City’s lead, heading home with a classic Jahouh corner to seal the game and an historic first three points.
Mumbai City will look to build on their win by taking on UAE’s Al Jazira on Thursday, while Air Force Club will hope to bounce back against Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab FC.

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