NorthEast United FC defeat 10 men Mumbai City FC 1-0
NorthEast United FC defeated 10 men Mumbai City FC in the second game of this year's Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa.
A penalty from Kwesi Appiah in the 49th minute decided the game. Mumbai played the entire second half with 10 men after Ahmed Jahouh was sent off near the end of the first half. With the win, NorthEast also ended their 14 game winless streak from last season. Mumbai could not hit a shot on target in the entire game.
Both teams had overhauled their squads for this season and were hoping for a better result than last time. Sergio Lobera lined Mumbai City in a 4-2-3-1 formation while Gerard Nus set his NorthEast United side in a narrow 4-3-3.
The Islanders Mumbai City started with Amrinder Singh on goal. Sarthak Golui and Hernan Santana as his centre backs partner as new signing Mourtada Fall was on the bench. Mohamad Rakip and Mandar Rao Dessai were the full backs. The midfield double pivot featured Rowllin Borges and Ahmed Jahouh. Hugo Boumous was in the number 10 role flanked by Raynier Fernandes and Adam le Fondre. Bartholomew Ogbeche led the line.
The Highlanders NorthEast United started with Subhasish Roy Chowdhury in goal. The centre back pairing of Dylan Fox and Benjamin Lambot were flanked by full backs Gurjinder Kumar and Ashutosh Mehta. Khassa Camara was the anchoring midfielder with Lalrempuia Fanai and Lalengmawia on either side. Kwesi Appiah led the line with Ninthoinganba Meetei and Luis Machado as forwards.
The match started with Mumbai looking to take the game to NorthEast. The Islanders were keen on keeping the ball and building up patiently.
The first decent chance fell to Rowllin Borges, who fired just wide from range in the 23rd minute. Just like in the first game of the 7th ISL season, an early injury forced a substitution. Farukh Choudhary replaced Raynier Fernandes in the 26th minute.
NorthEast were struggling to get into the game as Mumbai City enjoyed around 70 percent possession in the first quarter of the game. Sarthak Golui received the first booking of the game with a yellow card in the 37th minute.
The game turned on its head in the 44th minute after Ahmed Jahouh was given a straight red card for a lunge on Khassa Camara from behind. Ahmed Jahouh is the fulcrum of the Mumbai City side and his sending off could prove crucial.
Mumbai had a shout for a penalty after Khassa Camara brought down Bartholomew Ogbeche inside the box just before the half time whistle. It got worse for Mumbai City as Northeast were awarded a penalty in the 47th minute after Rowllin Borges handled the ball inside the box. A shortly taken corner soon found Dylan Fox near the far post. His header hit Borges on the arm. Kwesi Appiah stepped up and fired the ball straight down the middle, beating Amrinder Singh with ease.
NorthEast grabbed the game by the scuff of the neck in the second half and the goal certainly lifted the players. Ninthoinganba Meetei was a constant threat down the right flank troubling Mandar Rao Dessai time and again. Mumbai brought in Cy Goddard for Bartholomew Ogbeche in the 58th minute as the Islanders went to survival mode.
But the Highlanders had no intention of taking their foot off the gas as coach Gerard Nus made a double change in the 59th minute. Federico Gallego, their most influential player last season, came in for Luis Machado while Britto PM replaced Lalrempuia Fanai. Mumbai were trying to take advantage of any set pieces. Sarthak Golui headed just over from a corner in the 66th minute.
NorthEast brought in Idrissa Sylla for goal scorer Kwesi Appiah in the 70th minute. One foreigner for another foreigner. Mumbai also made a double change bringing in Vignesh Dakshinamurthy and Amey Ranawade for Mohamad Rakip and Mandar Rao Dessai.
Dylan Fox thwarted a good shot from Farukh Choudhary headed for goal in the 83rd minute. Ashutosh Mehta soon went into the book for a silly foul on Farukh Choudhary. The 6-minute Injury time saw NorthEast holding on to the lead while Mumbai tried to spring a late surprise. Goddard went into the book for a challenge on Dylan Fox in the 5th minute on injury time.
In the end, the Highlanders kept their discipline and held on for a valuable win.