AFC CL: Mumbai City lose 2-0 to Nassaji Mazandaran

Mumbai City FC's Greg Stewart in action against Nassaji Mazandaran during their AFC Champions League Group Stage clash on Monday. Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC's AFC Champions League (ACL) campaign got off to a disappointing note as they lost 2-0 to Iran's Nassaji Mazandaran at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Monday.

Ehsan Hosseini (34th minute) and Mohammadreza Azadi (62nd) scored for Nassaji Mazandaran, who were making their ACL Champions League debut.

The home side made a bright start and almost opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Jorge Pereyra Diaz slipped the ball through to Lallianzuala Chhangte, who shot from a tight angle but could not find the target. Mumbai City created numerous chances but finishing touch and Nassanji took the lead, against the run of play, in the 34th minute.

Hossein Zamehran won the ball 20 yards from goal and the Iranian playmaker turned swiftly to play Ehsan Hosseini through on goal with a defence-splitting pass. Hosseini made no mistake as he slotted the ball past Phurba Lachenpa to put the visitors ahead.

Bipin Singh had a fine chance to restore parity at the cusp of half-time, but his effort was wide of the target after being found in space as Lallianzuala Chhangte rolled the ball across the face of the goal.

Nassaji Mazandaran doubled their lead around the hour-mark when substitute Farshid Esmaeili robbed Akash Mishra deep inside his penalty area and rolled the ball into the six-yard box, where Azadi found the back of the net with ease.

Mumbai City had a couple of chances towards the end as Vikram Partap Singh shot across the face of goal and Chhangte glanced his header wide as the hosts sought a late lifeline, but Nassaji saw out nine minutes of additional time to seal the win.