Mumbai City FC shines against Highlanders to kick off 2023-24 season with full points

Mumbai City FC edged past NorthEast United FC by 2-1 in Guwahati to commence their ISL 2023-24 campaign with full 3 points on Sunday.

Mumbai City FC edged past NorthEast United FC by 2-1 in Guwahati to commence their ISL 2023-24 campaign with full 3 points on Sunday.

The home team’s Parthib Gogoi’s goal in the 32nd minute was sandwiched between twin strikes by Argentine striker Jorge Pereyra Diaz in the 26th and the 38th minute to hand the Islanders a hard-fought three points from the contest.

Des Buckingham’s men seemed to have picked up from where they had left it last season, with their frontline functioning in tandem straight from kick-off. Bipin Singh dropped down in the middle to receive a pass from midfielder Lalengmawia Ralte to initiate the move for the first strike of the night. The winger played an incisive through ball for Lallianzuala Chhangte inside the box, who squared off a pass that was tapped in by Diaz to round off a neat offensive endeavor by the visitors.

NorthEast responded strongly as they gradually began pressing higher up in the quest of the equaliser. Asheer Akhtar swiftly cleared a ball from the backline that was received by Gogoi on the inside of the left flank a few yards away from the box. The winger demonstrated some fine footwork to cut in and shot from the long-range in an effort that took Mumbai’s goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz aback. The custodian dived on his left but couldn’t get his hand behind the ball amidst a joyous eruption from the home crowd.

Mumbai appeared to be eager to regain the lead and the duo of Chhangte and Diaz were at the centre of the move that helped them to do so. Six minutes later, Dutch midfielder Yoell van Nieff played a simple pass to the Indian attacker that he used to lob in a cross to Mehtab Singh on the far post. The defender headed the ball in Diaz’s path as the forward demonstrated his razor sharp instincts in extending his leg forward and managing to get the ball into the back of the net.

The Islanders embraced a more cautious approach to hold on to their lead as the game progressed. Mohammed Ali Bemammer kicked off an attacking move for NorthEast that resulted in Manvir Singh leaping high in an attempt to head the ball into the Mumbai net. However, Nawaz showed greater assurance this time to collect it calmly and steer his side to an emphatic victory from this fiercely competitive away fixture.

Key Performer of the Match

Jorge Pereyra Diaz

The 33-year-old played his role as the focal point of the attacking quartet to perfection by displaying exceptional positional awareness and goal-scoring prowess to bag a brace in the team’s opening fixture of the ISL season. He didn’t necessarily participate in the playmaking process, but rather limited his contributions to suit his strengths and the incumbent League Winners Shield holders reaped rich dividends of the same.

What’s next for both teams?

Mumbai City FC will now travel to Bhubaneswar to take on Sergio Lobera’s Odisha FC on September 28 whereas the Highlanders will host Chennaiyin FC for their respective second game of the season on September 29.

Brief Scores

Mumbai City FC 2 (Jorge Pereyra Diaz 26’, 38’) – 1 NorthEast United FC (Parthib Gogoi 32’)

Also Read: India book Asian Games knockout berth: to face Saudi Arabia

Also Read: Mohun Bagan SG start their campaign in style with a clinical show against ISL debutants Punjab FC

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