NorthEast United had clearer chances than Mumbai City at Tilak Maidan© Twitter
NorthEast United FC made a winning start in the seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) after a 1-0 victory over Mumbai City FC at Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Saturday. Mumbai dominated the ball in the opening period but lost Ahmed Jahouh after receiving his marching orders in the 43rd minute. The second half saw Kwesi Appiah score the game’s only goal from the penalty spot to help the Highlanders score three points.
The entire skin tone of the match, however, changed with two minutes left and the momentum shifted in NorthEast’s favor after Jahouh was shown a straight red by the referee due to a tackle from behind.
The Islanders, to their credit, stayed true to their game plan and complex style of play despite the sent off as the teams entered the break with the game still scoreless.
NorthEast FC started the second half on the front foot and were awarded a penalty after Borges was ruled for handling the ball in the box. Appiah scrambled to take the penalty and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way to put his team ahead in the 49th minute.
Mumbai kept advancing in search of a goal but NorthEast resolutely defended themselves to thwart them again and again. Substitute Farukh Choudhary managed to dodge a shot on goal for the Islanders in the 83rd minute, but the NorthEast defense found a big block to make sure they kept their lead intact.
NorthEast could have put the game to bed three minutes into added time when they gained possession and attacked on pace.
Substitute Imran Khan even got his shot, but his efforts didn’t test the Mumbai goalkeeper. His failure didn’t matter though as NorthEast cleverly rolled the clock down to pick up the win and the maximum points.
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