Match Report: NorthEast United FC 2-2 Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC continued their unbeaten record away from home in the 2019-20 Hero ISL season after a 2-2 draw against NorthEast United FC in Guwahati. Amine Chermiti wrote his name on the scoresheet for MCFC with his two first-half goals.
Rowllin Borges and Modou Sougou returned from injuries and were in the Islanders' lineup. Both teams made some promising moves initially but it was Chermiti who found the net in only the eighth minute of the first half, but was given offside by the assistant referee. Moments later, Triadis put NEUFC on the scoresheet with a screamer from 30 metres. It wasn't the best of efforts from Souvik to clear a throw-in, his miscued hit went straight to Triadis, whose stunning shot flew past Amrinder into the net.
Mumbai City FC followed up with some great goal scoring opportunities. The best of which came in the 16th minute of the game when Larbi spotted the target but missed out on clearing the NEUFC goalkeeper. Larbi kept things going for the visitors and his efforts paid dividends in the 23rd minute of the first-half. A through-ball from the Tunisian found Sougou down the right, who then fed Chermiti at the far post for an easy tap in. It was a special one for Amine as he found the target after 3 games.
Our Islanders enjoyed a lot of possession during the half but after the equaliser, a bad challenge from Pradhan on Sougou took him out for a while. The Senegalese was back on his feet giving plenty of relief to Jorge Costa and the fans.
It was a real gift to Mumbai City FC when the Islanders scored their second in the 32nd minute of the game. Nim Dorjee couldn't get the right connection to clear Machado's free kick and it was the finest of a deflection from NEUFC’s defender that went straight to the waiting Chermiti. The Tunisian put MCFC ahead 2-1 with an magnificent bicycle kick. With 3 goals in 5 games, Amine is our highest scorer this season.
The game became more physical and the hosts were up for a good fight. Asamoah Gyan was leading the pack and found the back of the net in the 42nd minute of the first half. There were plenty of opportunities for Apun Ka Team to stretch their lead in the major part of the first-half, but missed out on a better finish only for Gyan to equalise after a miscued pass from Machado led to their goal.
Four goals were scored during the first 45 minutes of the game, most during this season of the Hero ISL. The second-half though had a contrasting start. Plenty of passes went stray and both sides lost the possession a number of times.
Things went a bit out of control in the 49th minute when Larbi, Sougou, Pradhan and Komorksi got involved in a scuffle. Chermiti was shown the yellow card by the referee after the pair clashed. Both players eventually were told to pipe down and the proceedings continued.
Overall, the second-half was mostly dominated by a series of passing errors from both teams on their respective attacking moves. It was another blow to us when Pradhan once again brought Sougou down in a rash attempt to gain possession but Sougou, once again, carried on.
The hosts made the first change of the match bringing striker Maximilian Barreiro for Martin Chaves.
Diego Carlos had the target in sight from the edge of the box but his strike was deflected off Komorski. A bad foul on Diego inside the box in the 69th min of the game looked like a fair shout for a penalty but the referee waved it away.
For the home side, Gyan had another go in the 71st minute, but his hit went straight to Amrinder. A golden opportunity came for knocking on our doorstep in the 75th minute. Subhasish found Sougou who headed it in a good space of running Chermiti, who could only manage to hit it wide and high on the volley.
Jorge Costa made his first change in 76th min and brought Serge Kevyn in place of Machado. Mumbai City FC had a heart-in-mouth moment in the 81st min when Amrinder palmed the ball inside the box straight to Lalthathanga who miscued it for a goal kick. Mumbai made their second change in the 83rd min and brought Bipin for Sougou who was constantly targetted for the final seven minutes of the match time.
Despite plenty of opportunities that went to both teams, the second-half went goalless and the referee called time on pulsating encounter ending with 2 goals apiece. There were a lot of would have, could have, should have moments but a clean finish from both sides was missing.
Mumbai City FC will take an away point from this match and the Islanders will be on road again as they face ATK in their next fixture on Saturday, November 30.