Mumbai City FC created history by becoming the first Indian team to win an AFC Champions League match. Des Buckinham’s side came back from 0-1 down to beat Air Force Club of Iraq 2-1 in a Group B encounter. The win means Mumbai City move level on three points with Air Force Club and are three adrift of Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab, who picked up their second win in a row with a 3-0 victory over Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates.
The 2020-21 ISL (Indian Super League) champions did not get off to the best of starts in the AFC Champions League as they lost their opening encounter to Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab but they made a roaring comeback against Iraq’s Air Force Club on Monday.
After a goalless first-half, the game took rapid strides as all three goals came in the next 45 minutes of the match. Air Force Club took the lead in the 59th minute through Hammadi Ahmad but the Indian side drew level as Diego Mauricio converted the penalty in the 70th minute.
The real turnaround of the match, however, came when Rahul Bheke headed Jahouh’s corner in 75th minute to give Mumbai City the lead. Bheke also became the first Indian to score in an AFC Champions League fixture.
The Air Force Club applied immense pressure in the dying minutes of the match but the Mumbai City defence held their nerves and stood firm to secure three points for their side.