Anelka guides Mumbai City FC to yet another win
Nicolas Anelka was the ‘Hero of the match’ for Mumbai City FC once again as the Frenchman scored once more to hand his side a 1-0 victory in a tightly contested affair against Delhi Dynamos FC at the DY Patil Stadium here in Navi Mumbai tonight.
The win helped the hosts zoom up to third spot on the Hero Indian Super League table with nine points from six games while the visitors, who have six points in the kitty, slipped to sixth spot.
It was a cagey start as Delhi Dynamos kept possession for major periods of the first half. Syed Rahim Nabi, for the second time in the tournament, picked up an injury early on and was forced off with Peter Costa coming on to replace him. This pegged back the Mumbai side as the visitors moved the ball around well with Delhi’s Steven Dias causing a few problems for the hosts from the right with his runs and crosses. Mads Junker was however unable to get on the end of any of them as Subrata Paul, the ISL emerging player of the match, came bravely off his line a few times to thwart any danger.
As the half progressed, Mumbai slowly began to get into the game. Jan Stohanzl, Amul’s fittest player of the match, collected the ball in midfield, ran towards goal and unleashed a thunderous effort that sailed over the bar. Lalrindika Ralte tested Kristof Van Hout a few minutes later with a shot from a distance, but the 6’10” Belgian goalkeeper made a comfortable save.
The closest either team came to scoring was when André Moritz picked up the ball and threaded it through to Anelka on the left who lobbed a beautiful pass across the goal to an unmarked Subash Singh who fluffed the chance.
Mumbai came out firing on all cylinders in the second half while Delhi were content playing from behind and attempting to hit back on the counter. But when Delhi did finally venture forward, it was the home side that hit Delhi with a superb counter attacking move in the 59th minute. Stohanzl collected the ball in midfield and released Subhash down the right who dinked the ball over a defender (the Swift moment of the match) on to the onrushing Anelka who placed it past van Hout into the top left corner with a sublime left foot finish.
Delhi responded by sending marquee man Alessandro Del Piero on for the ineffective Junker. Mumbai however were in an unrelenting mood as they continued to pile on the pressure. Anelka was at the forefront of everything for the home side but was unable to convert the chances that came his way. Subhash too was guilty of wasting a good chance to double the lead from a one on one with van Hout. Delhi tried to get back into the game and Del Piero wasted a golden opportunity to draw his side level when he met Dias’ cross with a header that went just wide.
With two wins on the trot Mumbai will head out with confidence to face FC Goa away on November 9 while Delhi travel south to meet Kerala Blasters in Kochi on the same day.