ISL: Mumbai end NorthEast’s unbeaten run
Guwahati: Mumbai City FC are on a roll registering their third consecutive victory, this time a narrow 1-0 win to halt NorthEast United FC’s unbeaten run in an Indian Super League (ISL) tie at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium here on Friday.
Arnold Issoko’s fourth-minute goal was the difference between the two sides as Mumbai climbed to third on the table with 13 points from seven games, the same as FC Goa and Bengaluru FC who sit above them. NorthEast United are stuck at 11 points but have a game in hand.
Mumbai surged ahead with their first attack. NorthEast didn’t clear their lines from a Paulo Machado corner and the ball once again fell for the Portuguese midfielder. His first time shot struck Issoko’s chest and crossed the line despite goalkeeper Pawan Kumar’s best efforts.
The hosts responded to the setback by fashioning several chances. Bartholomew Ogbeche saw a header miss the far post after he got on the end of a cross from Redeem Tlang from the right before Federico Gallego had a chance to pull one back as they won a free kick on the edge of the box.
However, the Uruguayan’s free kick sailed over the bar with Amrinder Singh hardly troubled.
Mumbai had a chance of their own when a move straight from the training ground saw Machado square the ball to Rafael Bastos from a free kick. The Brazilian’s shot went inches wide of the far post.
Mumbai had a scare when Lalthathanga Khawlring’s corner caught Amrinder by surprise and the ball clipped the crossbar on its way out.
Three minutes after the restart, Ogbeche made a brilliant run down the left and crossed for Juan Mascia. However, the Uruguayan striker couldn’t turn it home.
Mumbai had a lot of chances to double their lead as the half wore on.
In the 50th minute, Moudou Sougou had a brilliant opportunity to score when he was played onside and only had to beat the onrushing goalkeeper. The Senegalese striker saw his lobbed effort miss the target, much to the disappointment of Jorge Costa.
Sougou missed another chance just after the hour mark. Lucian Goian’s long punt found Issoko who did well to get beyond his marker and release Sougou down the left who blasted his shot over.
The tale of wasted chances continued at the other end too as Ogbeche got on the end of a cross and found space to shoot but his effort went straight into the hands of Amrinder.
A mistake from Lucian then allowed Ogbeche to be in a one-on-one situation with Amrinder but the Nigerian striker slammed his effort into the goalkeeper. Off the rebound, Rowllin Borges’ shot sailed over the bar.
Despite a late onslaught, the visitors held on to their slender lead as NorthEast fell to their first defeat in the season.