Mumbai end NorthEast’s unbeaten run with victory at Guwahati

Mumbai City FC handed NorthEast United FC their first defeat of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19, courtesy a first-half strike by Arnold Issoko. It was a hard-fought battle at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati with the home team enjoying the majority of the possession, but the Islanders held on well to secure the win and three points.

It was Mumbai’s third win on a trot and the result saw them climb to the third spot in the table, while NorthEast dropped down to the fifth spot.

  • Arnold Issoko bundled the ball in after a goalmouth scramble to give Mumbai the lead on the 4th minute of the match.
  • NorthEast had most of the ball and created a host of chances in the second-half but failed to find the equaliser.
  • A resolute Mumbai defence held on well to secure their third win in a row.

The match got off to a high-octane start and the first chance came the home team's way after just two minutes. Bartholomew Ogbeche tried his luck from a free-kick in a promising position, but his shot sailed well over the bar. Mumbai laid their first raid on the NorthEast box just two minutes later through a corner and had better luck. Subhasish Bose did well to cushion a header in a dangerous area from the set-piece and a scramble ensued inside the six-yard box. Issoko got the final jab in to direct the ball goalwards, but NorthEast goalkeeper Pawan Kumar seemed to have initially saved it just before the ball crossed the line. However, after a little deliberation with his linesman, the referee ruled that the ball had crossed the line. 1-0 to Mumbai.

After the first goal, both teams worked hard to deny their opponents any space on the pitch. Tackles flew in thick and fast, followed by a flurry of fouls and a couple of yellow cards.

Ogbeche was just inches wide from levelling things up when he peeled off from his marker to meet a Redeem Tlang cross on the 23-minute mark. His header brushed past the outside of the far post as a helpless Amrinder Singh looked on.

Juan Mascia, too, had a good opportunity just three minutes later, but he couldn't guide Reagan Singh's cross towards goal.

Mumbai came close yet again through a set-piece. A well-worked low delivery from Paulo Machado found Rafael Bastos at the edge of the box but the Brazilian's drilled shot went agonisingly wide. After an entertaining half of football, the away team took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Both teams started the second half with an attacking intent and engineered a few chances early in the second half. Fans at Guwahati were being entertained with some fine end-to-end football. As the half progressed, NorthEast quickened the pace creating some big problems for the Mumbai defence, but the final ball and some poor decision making let the home team down on multiple occasions.

The Islanders almost took advantage of it on the hour mark, when Issoko almost set up Modou Sougou from a quick counter-attack, but Jose Leudo’s last-ditch sliding tackle did enough to put off the Portuguese forward.

Despite some tight-marking by Lucian Goian and Joyner Lourenco, Ogbeche continued to look like the danger man for the home team and he almost found the equaliser on the 72nd minute. He did well to bring down a difficult cross inside a crowded box but the resulting shot was too close to Amrinder to trouble the Mumbai keeper.

Ogbeche was a nuisance in the Mumbai box again just eight minutes later when he chested down the ball between two defenders to make space for himself but Amrinder did well to deny him. With the Mumbai custodian out of position, the rebound fell to Rowllin Borges, but he couldn’t keep his volley down.

The home team threw more and more bodies forward in search of the equaliser late on, but a resolute Mumbai defence held on to secure the win and three points.

Watch the match highlights here:

HERO OF THE MATCH - Arnold Issoko

In addition to scoring the only goal of the night, Arnold Issoko was at the centre of everything Mumbai City FC created throughout the game. He is the Hero of the Match. 

CLUB AWARDS  

Club Award – Mumbai City FC 

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Rafael Bastos

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Paulo Machado 

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Redeem Tlang 

Hero of the Match – Arnold Issoko

WHAT’S NEXT?

NorthEast United FC host Kerala Blasters FC on November 23, while Mumbai City FC will look to keep their win streak going when they host ATK on November 24.

Visit our videos and photos section for exclusive videos and images from the match.  

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