After a disappointing night in Goa, the boss Jorge Costa demanded a response from the boys and what a response it was! The Islanders registered a comfortable 2-0 win over Delhi Dynamos at the Mumbai Football Arena. It was a second consecutive win for the Islanders at home, with goals from Modou Sougou and a first one in Hero ISL for Arnold Issoko helped bag the win.
Both sides had plenty of stake in this match with poor starts to show for from either side. Delhi Dynamos FC started the game on the front foot, creating the first chance in the fourth minute through Romeo Fernandes but his volley was over the crossbar. Andrija Kaludjerovic tested our custodian Ravi Kumar in the 12th minute but he made a good save diving to his right.
The next quarter of the hour saw Ravi Kumar make fine decisions as he came off his line to nullify the crossing game from Delhi Dynamos FC. He made sure to collect the ball cleanly and look solid in his first start for the club, as he replaced Amrinder Singh who missed out due to an injury.
Just at the half an hour mark, the Islanders took the lead through Modou Sougou’s second goal of the campaign. Rafael bastos played a long ball to find Arnold Issoko’s run on the right flank, the No.7 played a brilliant ball into the box which Sougou finished first time past Francisco Dorronsoro. Overall, it was a well-taken goal that lifted the confidence of the team and the home fans.
Modou Sougou had a couple of more opportunities to double his tally with an acrobatic effort going off target and a volley not seeing the desired connection. Going into the break, Mumbai City FC had a slender one goal lead.
The second half began on a positive note for the Islanders. Arnold’s pace was too much to handle for Rana Gharami, he fouled the winger in the box and was shown a yellow card for the offence. The Islanders were awarded a penalty. Up stepped, Rafael Bastos to double the lead but he sent his effort wide off the goal. The home fans were left disappointed but the one-goal lead remained intact for the Islanders.
At the stroke of the hour mark, Kaludjerovic missed a golden opportunity to get Delhi Dynamos back on level terms. He should have tapped in from a cross but somehow missed the chance. In the next minute, he almost made up for his error, his effort from the right hit the crossbar with Ravi Kumar not having much of a chance. That surely was a wake up call for the Islanders that there was plenty left in the game.
Ravi was called in action once again with Lallianzuala Chhangte’s curling left-footed effort tipped over the crossbar. In the 64th minute, Dorronsoro’s clearance fell to Arnold and he tried to chip the goalkeeper from distance but his effort went over the roof of the net. Both sides made changes with 20 minutes to go in the game.
A defence splitting pass from Rafael Bastos set Arnold Issoko through on goal, he managed to nutmeg Dorronsoro before finishing the chance with a cool head and scoring his first goal for the club. The last clear cut scoring opportunity came in the 91st minute, Delhi Dynamos thought they had a consolation goal but the fantastic Ravi Kumar made a good save and kept a much deserving clean sheet in his first start.
Jorge Costa would have definitely been pleased with the Islanders putting on a good show in all departments. With 2 goals and 3 points in the bag, the Islanders bagged another home win against Delhi Dynamos and remained unbeaten against them in all 5 home games in Hero ISL history.
Up next is an away trip to defending champions, Chennaiyin FC on October 3 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. The aim will be the same, play good football and pick up 3 points.