NorthEast, Mumbai play out an entertaining draw

NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC’s first clash in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 ended in a 2-2 draw at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday. The hosts took the lead through Panagiotis Triadis but were pegged back by Amine Chermiti’s brace. Asamoah Gyan netted the equaliser for NorthEast before half-time.

  • Panagiotis Triadis gave NorthEast United FC the lead with a stunning shot from range.
  • Two strikes from Amine Chermiti in the space of nine minutes put Mumbai City FC in the ascendency.
  • Asamoah Gyan equalised for NorthEast before the half-time interval.  

NorthEast United FC made a terrific start and took the lead in the ninth minute thanks to Triadis, who unleashed a venomous strike from distance that gave Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh no chance of making a save.

Mumbai had an attempt from range of their own in the 16th minute when Mohamed Larbi ran on to a ball on the edge of the box and hit it goalwards. His effort was on target but made for an easy save for Subhasish Roy.

However, the Islanders scored the equaliser seven minutes later after Modou Sougou squared a ball perfectly from out wide for Chermiti to tap home and make it 1-1.

The hosts had a big chance to regain the lead in the 26th minute when a ball from the right was just begging for someone to apply the finishing touch. Gyan did stretch to get a connection, but the ball was just beyond his reach.

The home side fell behind shortly after the 30-minute mark and it was Chermiti who found the net once again. This time, the Tunisian was quickest to react when a lapse by the NorthEast defence allowed a free-kick to find its way to him. Chermiti followed it up with a sensational acrobatic finish to put his side ahead.

The Highlanders weren’t behind for too long though and restored parity in style three minutes before half-time. After receiving the ball with space available, Gyan ran with the ball and got the better of two Mumbai defenders prior to finishing with conviction to make it 2-2 going into the break.

Chances proved harder to come by for both sides in the second-half. Mumbai were seeing more of the ball but weren’t threatening like they did in the first half, while NorthEast found it difficult to keep possession. Diego Carlos nearly helped Mumbai take the lead again in the 64th minute but his shot from inside the box went wide of goal after a decisive touch by a defender.

Gyan had a chance for NorthEast in the 71st minute when he controlled a ball in the box before getting a left-footed shot away. Amrinder, though, was positioned well and made the save. The next opportunity went Mumbai’s way and it came after Sougou set up Chermiti by heading a cross from the left towards Mumbai’s goal-scorer. However, the Tunisian shot wide on this occasion as the game continued to rest on a knife’s edge heading into the final stages of the contest.

The last chances of the game for the visitors went to Mumbai substitutes Serge Kevyn and Bipin Singh. Kevyn forced Subhasish into conceding a corner with his effort, while Bipin’s shot from the edge of the box from the subsequent corner went over the crossbar. NorthEast also had an effort from distance before fulltime, but Amrinder made an easy save as the sides shared the spoils.

Hero of the Match – Asamoah Gyan

Asamoah Gyan showed his class yet again with a solid all-round performance that included NorthEast United FC’s second goal of the night. It was his third strike of the season and the Ghanaian seems to be growing in influence with each passing game. Besides his goal, he also created three chances and was the Hero of the Match.

AWARDS

Club Award – NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Amine Chermiti

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Martin Chaves

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Rakesh Pradhan

Hero of the Match – Asamoah Gyan

Watch the match highlights here:

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