The matchday 2 of the Hero Indian Super League saw Northeast United FC end their 14 match winless run with a 1-0 win over the City football group owned Mumbai City FC.
It comes in as the first ‘upset’ for the islanders despite cashing in big during the transfer window. This game had almost every mouth watering element a football fan can ever ask for. A penalty, a red card and the underdogs stealing the show.
Gerard Nus aligned his team in a classic 4-3-3 formation. Subhasish Roy Chowdhury wore the captain’s armband.
Subhasish (GK), Ashutosh, Fox, Lambot, Gurjinder, Camara, Lalengmawia, Lalrempuia, Machado, Kwesi, Ninthoi made it to starting XI.
Sergio Lobera used his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation with Hernan Santana dropping down to defense in the absense of Mourtada Fall. Amrinder (GK), Mandar, Santana, Sarthak, Rakip, Jahouh, Borges, Raynier, Hugo, Le fondre, Ogbeche started for Mumbai City FC.
The first 45 minutes saw Sergio Lobera’s man holding the lion’s share of possession as expected. Le fondre found Ogbeche through a cross from the right flank but Ashutosh Mehta had it covered. Ahmed Jahouh tried to find the back of the next twice from long range efforts but missed the target altogether. Lobera’s team were dominating the possession but missed the final touch on every occasion.
However, things got ‘too bad’ for Mumbai when their key playmaker Ahmed Jahouh was given his marching orders. The Moroccan saw the red card for a nasty challenge on Khassa Camara just before the half time whistle.
Gerard Nus and company looked determined and were clear with their approach from the first whistle of the second half itself. They tried and tried to capitalise on the numerical advantage that Mumbai City FC gifted them. Dylan Fox’s header found Rowllin Borges’s hand and that was enough to convince the referee to give away a spot kick to the Highlanders. Kwesi Appiah made no mistake in getting the job done from the spot.
Mumbai City FC were on the back foot and were trying hard to find the equaliser. Sarthak Guloi came close to scoring from a header in the 66th minute but the connection wasn’t good enough to find the back of the net. A few minutes later, Farukh Choudhary almost found a goal but Dylan Fox had different plans. The Aussie centre back not only denied Farukh a goal but also sealed the deal for his team.
6 minutes were added after regulation time and Northeast United gained possesion and they did try well to find a second goal courtesy of a lightning fast counter attack in which substitute Imran Khan fired a left footer but it had nothing to worry about for Amrinder and Mumbai City FC.
Northeast United FC start their campaign on a high with a much needed victory over Mumbai City FC in what was their 99th Hero ISL appearance.
Hero of the match : Khassa Camara
The Mauritanian International was exceptional in the middle of the park. He made 10 tackles, 3 interceptions and 4 clearances with a passing accuracy of 75%. He organised team in a well mannered way and that helped them look dangerous.