Mumbai City FC jumps to third spot with 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai: Mumbai City FC survived some anxiety in the closing stages to grind out a 1-0 victory over Delhi Dynamos FC to jump to third position in the inaugural edition of the Hero Indian Super League on Wednesday.

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC

French striker Nicolas Anelka scored the winning goal for the second time in two matches for the hosts who now have nine points from six outings.

The winning goal came a minute before the hour mark when Anelka tapped in a cross from Subhash Singh, who accelerated from the right flank after selling a dummy to one Delhi Dynamos defender and delivering a pin-point cross for the Frenchman.

The lone goal proved enough in the final analysis but the team could have been left ruing their forward lines inability to kill the game despite four or five clear opportunities on the counter with the visitors pressing hard for an equaliser.

Those near misses almost came to haunt them when Delhi Dynamos skipper Alessandro Del Piero’s header missed the goal post by a few centimetres and the Italian hung his head in disbelief in the 90th minute of the match that came alive only in the second half.

In contrast, the first half was a battle between the two midfields with none of the teams willing to commit more men forward and happy to retain possession. The hosts were even more cautious about maintaining their shape and that meant that the only attempts at goal from Delhi Dynamos were long rangers that were either off the mark or easy for custodian Subrata Pal to connect.

Mumbai went into the match with the same starting XI that had grinded out a 1-0 victory over Kerala Blasters but were forced to make a change when skipper Syed Rahim Nabi got injured in the very first minute and had to be subsequently replaced by Peter Costa.

The earlier set back meant that the hosts needed some time to settle into a rhythm and till then the visitors enjoyed a bulk of possession but with nothing much to show for.

Mumbai City FC were happy playing the waiting game and it was only after the half an hour mark that the likes of Andre Moritz and Nicolas Anelka began weaving their magic.

The best chance to score for Mumbai City FC came through one such inter-linking play from the duo when Moritz nutmeg in the middle of the park and then played the ball to Anelka. But the unmarked Subhash Singh could only volley the Frenchman’s pin point cross into the ground and over the crossbar.

But the hosts showed a lot more purpose in the second half and their efforts were rewarded when Anelka found the net to send the DY Patil stadium in raptures.

After the goal, Mumbai City FC were willing to sit back and wait for counter attack opportunities, which came a plenty once Delhi Dynamos began to press higher. But on most occasions the final ball to the striker turned out to be below-par.

This left the hosts facing intense scrutiny in the last 10 minutes but some good fortune and an excellent performance from Pal under the bar, who kept Del Piero and company out with some unbelievable reflexes, saved the day.

Mumbai City FC coach Peter Reid credited the victory to a team effort and said it was important to continue the moment now. “It was a very good win for us and Anelka and Pal were superb today. Pal made a couple of good saves, especially of Del Piero to help us win three points.”

Pal was happy with his performance and said it was the disciplined effort of the defence that made all the difference.

Result

Mumbai City FC 1 (Nicolas Anelka 59) bt Delhi Dynamos FC 0

Hero of the Match: Nicolas Anelka
Emerging Player of the Match: Subrata Pal
Fitness Player of the Match: Jan Stohanzl
Swift Moment of the Match: Subash Singh

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