Goian’s late winner keeps Mumbai’s playoff hopes alive
Mumbai City FC beat NorthEast United FC 3-2 in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. Lucian Goian scored for both sides, while Achille Emana and Everton Santos were the other scorers for the Islanders. Sambinha scored the Highlanders’ second goal but could not prevent his team from succumbing to a fifth successive defeat and remaining seven games without a win.
The home team started taking the attack to their opposition early on, and carved an opening in the eighth minute. Sanju Pradhan’s cross from the right was aimed for Rafa Jorda, and he managed to lay it off for Everton. The latter’s shot was on target, but Highlanders’ custodian TP Rehenesh managed to save with his legs.
The Islanders went ahead with a quarter of an hour played. Everton found Emana on the edge of the box, and the NorthEast defenders were left to rue the amount of time they gave the Cameroonian as he turned, picked his spot and hit a low shot into goal giving Rehenesh no chance.
A couple of minutes before the half-hour mark, the visitors found the equaliser against the run of play and from their first real opportunity in the game. Maic Sema crossed the ball from the left flank towards Gursimrat Singh, whose shot following a touch was heading off target. However, in an attempt to slide in and clear, Goian put the ball into his own net.
Then right on the half-hour mark, Emana found Everton who turned and shot on target. But this time Rehenesh was up to his task as he stretched to make a good save. Four minutes from the break, the Highlanders missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Lalrempuia Fanai put in a good early cross for John Mosquera, but with the goal gaping in front of him, he somehow missed the target.
But NorthEast did end up taking the lead a couple of minutes later. Lalrindika Ralte put in a corner, and no one seemed to mark Sambinha, who scored with a low, diving header. It was the last bit of action from the half, as the visitors went into the break leading 2 – 1.
The Islanders took just nine minutes following the restart to restore parity. Sehnaj Singh’s lofted ball was cushioned towards Everton by Rafa’s header. Everton took a few touches to go across his markers before slotting the ball past Rehenesh.
The 69th minute saw Robert Lalthlamuana find Fanai with his cross from the left, but the latter’s shot which was on target, was met with a good save from Mumbai keeper Amrinder Singh. Then three minutes from full-time Leo Costa struck a sweet free-kick with his left foot, but Rehenesh came to the rescue with a diving save to the right.
However, the hosts would not be denied right on 90 minutes as Goian redeemed his own goal in the first period. Raju Gaikwad put in a long cross from the right, and the Romanian defender was well-placed at the far post to stick out a leg and score to hand Mumbai maximum points.
Club Award: Mumbai City FC
Swift Limitless Player: Achille Emana
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Raju Gaikwad
Amul Fittest Player: Larindika Ralte
Emerging Player: Gursimrat Singh
Hero of the Match: Everton Santos
Watch the match highlights here: