Canadian striker Iain Hume became the hero of Kerala Blasters for the second game running as his lone first-half goal helped the visitors get the better of Mumbai City FC 1-0 in a rousing Indian Super League match on Sunday.
Hume, playing with a bandage around his head, took advantage of a quickly taken free-kick by teammate Courage Pekuson of Ghana and sprinted forward to the bewilderment of the entire home side players before coolly slotting the ball past Mumbai custodian Amrinder Singh to the left corner in the 23rd minute of play.
The victory enabled Kerala to draw level on points (14 each from ten games) with Mumbai who, however, remained in fifth spot by virtue of a superior goal difference after suffering a second defeat of the season at the Mumbai Football Arena. Kerala now take on Jamshedpur SC in another away game on January 17 while Mumbai take on second-placed Bengaluru FC at home a day later.
Kerala started off in blistering fashion, had the better share of the exchanges till late into the first half and also took the lead via Canadian Iain Hume, the hat-trick man in the visitors’ previous game against Delhi Dynamos. Stung by the reversal Mumbai attacked with gusto and put the visitors’ goal under pressure without succeeding to breach it.
Mumbai made some substitutions, even leaving out captain Lucian Goian of Romania for the first time in the season, in search of the equaliser and nearly did it when substitute Leo Costa of Brazil struck a thundering 30-yard left footed shot into the upright with a couple of minutes remaining for the end. That was Mumbai’s last chance to draw level.