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Indian Super League 2018: Mumbai City FC clinch thrilling win over North East United FC

Lucian Goian, the captain of the Mumbai City FC team, scored a last minute goal to help his team to a thrilling 3-2 win over North East United FC and keep their play-off hopes alive.

football Updated: Feb 23, 2018 09:43 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Indian Super League 2018,ISL 2018,Mumbai City FC
Lucian Goian scored in the 91st minute as Mumbai City FC stayed in the hunt for the play-offs with a 3-2 win over North East United FC in the Indian Super League. (ISL / SPORTZPICS)

Mumbai City FC skipper Lucian Goian, who made his first full start since returning from injury scored in the dying minutes to give his team a 3-2 win and much-needed three points against NorthEast United FC on Thursday; thus keeping them in contention for a play-off spot.

It was mixed return for Goian, who bundled the ball into his own net to cancel out Achille Emana’s early strike in the first half. But then managed to find the net in the 91st minute give Mumbai City their first win at the Mumbai Football Arena in six games.

Mamadu Cande had headed in a second for NorthEast United to give them the lead just before half-time but Everton Santos’ effort just after restart had brought Mumbai City back to parity.

The win lifts Mumbai City to sixth position on 23 points, displacing FC Goa who have a game in hand with 21 points in the bag. Mumbai, who have played 16 of their 18 games remain three points adrift of the top-four – all of whom have played the same number of games.

They will have to win both their games against Delhi Dynamos FC and Chennaiyin FC away from home, and hope other teams from the top-seven drop points in order to reach the knockouts.Mumbai City had dominated proceedings right from the start. They pressed high almost restricting NorthEast United in their own half.

Achille Emana gave Mumbai City a deserved lead in the 15th minute. The Cameroonian picked his spot from outside box to curl it beyond the reach of Rehenesh TP into the bottom left corner. Mamadu and Mosquera, both inspirational changes by assistant coach Eelco Schattorie from NorthEast United’s 1-0 loss to Kerala Blasters FC saw the visitors take charge before the end of the first-period.

“I think Mumbai overall was the better team. Football is all about controlling the game, and in the first fifteen minutes the ball was only on our side. I was shouting to organize my team and I only succeeded when they scored the first goal. After that we had slightly more control. We tried to close them down more in the second half but we gave too many balls away,” Schattorie opined of the game.

A cross from the left fell to Gursimrat Gill whose attempted shot was turned goal ward by Jario Mosquera before Goain’s attempt to clear the ball carried it into the net in the 24th minute.

NorthEast United, revitalized by the equaliser started seeing more of the ball and tried to take the game to Mumbai City. Fanai teed up Mosquera with a low ball to put him one on one with Amrinder Singh. But the forward could not keep it on target.

Moments later though, Northeast United made it count. Lalrindika Ralte floated in a corner but it missed Rowlin Borges’ head. Mumbai City defenders failed to track the run of Mamadu, instead committing themselves to Borges, leaving Mamadu open to direct the ball into the right of Amrinder goal’s with his head in the 43rd minute.

But Mumbai City responded well after restart. Sehnaj Singh’s cross was nodded forward by Rafa Jorda and fell to Everton who held his nerve to slot it past a rushing Rehenesh.

Mumbai continued to push forward. Substitute Leo Costa almost scored the winner off a free-kick but it was well blocked by Rehenesh.

Raju Gaikwad’s cross to the far corner, a minute into additional time, found the outstretching leg of centre-back Goian sending the Mumbai faithful satisfied after a long wait.

“I’m very proud of my players. Especially because it was not easy to get over the situation we were in, we had an advantage after the first goal but then we slowed down a little bit. I told the players to continue to keep pressing after the half time. And it was really good that we got the goal in the crucial moment. We kept going until the last minute. And now we go to Delhi, with a totally different mind-set,” said Mumbai City’s manager Alexandre Guimaraes of his team’s performance.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 23:15 IST