Nine-man Mumbai City FC lose to Northeast United FC
Mumbai City FC came up with a spirited performance but the disadvantage of being two men down proved costly for the hosts as they went down 0-2 against NorthEast United FC in the Hero Indian Super League here today.
Kondwani Mtonga and Felipe de Castro score second half goals to give NorthEast United FC three points in their first away encounter of the tournament.
The hosts went into the match riding on the high of beating FC Pune City 5-0 in their last encounter and they looked like continuing from where they left off against their state rivals against the North East side but were unlucky not to convert that domination into goals.
Mumbai City FC made no change to their starting XI from the last game and their first chance came as early as the seventh minute when Johann Letzelter played a pass to last match hero Andre Moritz but his low left footed shot from outside the box was just wide.
The hosts dominated the entire first half but a combination of some bad luck and good defending by the opposition meant that the two teams went into the breather with the deadlock yet to be broken.
The second half was no different with manager Peter Reid introducing marquee player Freddie Ljungberg for Andre Moritz to try and put pressure on the opposition. But it was Mtonga who broke the deadlock against the run of play when he collected a pass from Koke and chipped the ball over the advancing Subrata Pal in the Mumbai City FC goal.
The setback only spurred the hosts to launch more lethal attacks on the opposition citadel with the manager making a couple of tactical substitution in search of an equaliser.
But a freakish injury to Ljungberg in the 73rd minute meant that Mumbai City FC were down to 10 men for the last quarter and a double booking for centre-back Pavel Cmovs only made the task tougher.
Despite the disadvantage, the likes of Subhash Singh and Jan Stohanzl continued to put pressure on the visitors in search of a goal but all those efforts only meant that there was more space for North East United to exploit and they managed to score the second in the 90th minute when de Castro guided home a cross from James Keene.
Mumbai City FC coach Peter Reid took this defeat in his stride and said that the team will fight back. “There are the ups and downs in the game. I am confident that we will fight back in the upcoming games. We are looking forward to Chennai, and looking forward to a strong show. Also looking forward to see Nicolas Anelka play in the next game and make Mumbai City FC a stronger side,” he said.
Reid sounded a bit worried about Freddie Ljungberg’s injury but said he was happy with Moritz playing for 45 minutes even though he was injured but gave his best. He expects Moritz to be in his best form in the next match.
Result: FC North East United 2 (Kodwani Mtonga 57, Do Dong 90) bt Mumbai City FC 0; Emerging player: Durgaboro; Man-of-the-Match: Kondwani Mtonga; Fit player of the match: Lalrindka Ralte; Best moment of the match: Nadong Bhutia