Rampant Mumbai put four past hapless Delhi

Mumbai City FC routed Delhi Dynamos FC, courtesy a 4 – 0 scoreline at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18. Lucian Goian and Everton Santos struck in the first half while further goals from Thiago Santos and Balwant Singh in the second, succumbed Delhi to their sixth successive loss of the season.

The home team started off by taking the attack to their opponents and more than once, the Lions’ defence was opened up in the opening ten minutes. Twelve minutes into the match and Balwant Singh put Everton through on goal with a lovely pass. Goalkeeper Arnab Das Sharma rushed out to make a block but only managed to take down Everton in the box, consequently giving away a penalty. Achille Emana stepped up to take it, but his shot hit the upright. However, Goian was alert enough to smash the rebound home, although Arnab would feel unlucky after almost pulling off a save.

Delhi then started taking the initiatives to attack. In the 24th minute, the ball fell kindly for Romeo Fernandes after rebounding off the defender. But with the angle against him, instead of trying to pass to the centre, he went for glory and ended up missing the target. A minute later, Nandhakumar Sekar fashioned a shot from distance which just fizzed wide off Islander custodian Arindam Bhattacharja’s far post.

The Lions came even closer nine minutes later. Abinash Ruidas’ weak defensive header found Matias Mirabaje and his first-time volley beat Arindam, but not the keeper’s left-hand post. However, two minutes from half-time, and Mumbai doubled their lead. A free-kick from the right was floated in by Emana and an unguarded Everton was at hand to head the ball home as the Delhi defence went to sleep.

A couple of minutes later though, the Lions really should have halved the deficit. Pritam Kotal got around the defence and cut the ball back for Guyon Fernandez, whose shot was blocked by Raju Gaikwad. But with the goal at his mercy, the follow-up by Nandhakumar was weak.

The half, however, ended on a sour note as a tussle between Mumbai’s Sehnaj Singh and Delhi’s Mirabaje earned both a straight red, with the Islanders heading into the break with the two-goal cushion.

The second half started with 20 players on the pitch and it took only four minutes for the home team to score their third. Everton’s looping header from a Ruidas’ corner hit the post and Thiago reacted quickest to help the ball over the line.

Twelve minutes later, Lions’ substitute Lallianzuala Chhangte nearly got lucky with his attempted cross that seemed to be creeping into the goal. However, Arindam did well to backtrack and make the save. The visitors nearly pulled a goal back a minute after the hour mark when Paulinho Dias found Romeo with a delightful through-ball. The latter’s shot, unfortunately,  whistled past the far post.

Eleven minutes from time and Mumbai scored a fourth to add to Delhi’s misery. Emana found Balwant with a lovely chip, and the Islanders’ top scorer of the season managed to get on the other side of the defence, chesting the ball down and hitting a scuffed shot off his calf, that wrong-footed Arnab to roll over the goal-line.

Delhi had the final shot on target in the 86th minute when substitute David Ngaihte released Romeo, whose fierce shot was met with a diving save from Arindam. That was the last piece of action as Mumbai jumped to the second spot in the table, and Delhi remained rooted to the bottom.

MATCH AWARDS

Club Award: Mumbai City FC

Swift Moment of the Match: Lucian Goian

DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Balwant Singh

Amul Fittest Player: Romeo Fernandes

Emerging Player: Nandhakumar Sekar

Hero of the Match: Everton Santos

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