Match Report: Mumbai City FC 3-2 NorthEast United FC
Mumbai City FC kept their qualification hopes alive with a thrilling 3-2 win against NorthEast United. It was Lucian Goian's stoppage time goal that has given the Islanders a lifeline to stay alive in the hope of qualifying for the play-offs of Hero ISL 2017-18.
The Islanders played attacking football right from the word go. It was in the third minute of the first-half when Emana's beautiful pass found Rafa Jorda in the box. The latter failed to beat the NorthEast United defender. Lucian Goian assured the team didn't trail in the early minutes of the game with his timely tackle in the 6th minute that eventually led to a corner. Soon, it was Everton Santos who had a great chance in the 8th minute, only to be saved by the NorthEast United custodian, TP Rehenesh.
Emana fought like a gladiator the entire first half and his consistent attacking approach gave the Islanders their first goal in the 15th minute of the match. He took on three NEU defenders and beat the goal keeper with a piercing shot to the bottom corner to get MCFC their first goal of the match.
The Islanders didn't hold back, Marcio Rozario's free-kick in the 20th minute would have seen the home side double their scoreline. The visitors managed to equalize in the 24th minute of the game with an own goal from Lucian Goian. Gursimrat Singh’s shot was going off target & Goian tried to clear but unfortunately it went into his own net. The score was level at the Arena and NEU's equalizer was immediately followed by one heck of a save by their shot stopper on the 30 minute mark to deny Everton Santos.
The Islanders were not short of chances, both Rafa and Emana's combination saw goal side multiple times but failed to convert in the final third. The NorthEast United's goalkeeper assured the host didn’t get into the lead. Soon the visitors earned a corner and took the lead with a header from Sambinha as they silenced the home fans at the Arena.
The second half started with NEU making the first change of the game as Reagan replaced their second goal-scorer Sambinha. It was rather a slow start to second half, with Mumbai City FC trying to control the game with more possession. The home side managed an equalizer, as Everton Santos’ tidy finish from a Rafa Jorda header gave the Islanders some hope. The goal saw Mumbai City FC's confidence go up a notch. Sehnaj's brilliant tackle in the 61st minute of the game denied any chance for the visitor's to get their lead back.
The Islander's intention to get the lead back was clear, as they switched the play with intent on every possible attack. Mumbai City FC coach, Guimaraes, made an attacking change which saw striker Pranjal Bhumij replace midfielder Sahil Tavora. The Islanders were pushing ahead in numbers in search of the crucial 3rd goal.
Amrinder Singh made yet another brilliant save in the 69th minute to a shot that went like a bullet towards his right. Leo Costa was introduced with 20 minutes to go & he began to create chances that was causing the visitors plenty of problems. Mumbai City FC, like every other match, were at their best in the second half with plenty of chances.
But this time around, they managed a dramatic winner in added time late in the second half. It was the captain, Lucian Goian who rose to the occasion at the 91st minute of the game. He beat his marker & managed to get the ball into the back of the net.
The Islanders will keep their heads high in their next away game when they face Delhi Dynamos on Tuesday the 27th of February. With two wins in their last two matches, chances will be brighter then ever.