NorthEast United upset Mumbai City to throw Group D wide open

The Hero Super Cup 2023, on Saturday, April 15, 2023, witnessed an upset as NorthEast United FC defeated Hero Indian Super League Shield Winners Mumbai City FC 2-1 at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri.

Mumbai City FC are without their foreign recruits in this tournament and playing with an all-Indian side. While Colombian striker Wilmar Jordan Gil scored both goals for the winners, Lalengmawia Ralte, more known as Apuia, was the lone marksman for Mumbai City.

The result threw Group D wide open with three teams having a chance to qualify for the semi-finals. At the end of the second round, Chennaiyin FC have three points, and NorthEast United and Mumbai City have three points each. Churchill Brothers have only one point and are out of the running for the knockouts.

The Guwahati side delivered a commendable first half display, constantly putting pressure on the Islanders’ rather vulnerable defence. As expected, though, Des Buckingham’s men did find a couple of breakthroughs, but couldn’t meet the end product.

In the fifth minute, Lallianzuala Chhangte cut inside and went for an ambitious shot from outside the box. But the winger’s effort bounced off the wrong side of the crossbar before going for a goal kick.

NorthEast United, however, immediately hit back in the seventh minute as Gani Ahmed Nigam went for a headed attempt from inside the box. But the midfielder’s effort went just wide off the target.

In the 25th minute, the Guwahati team had another opportunity when Wilmar Jordan Gil tactfully attempted a header from an incoming free-kick, but saw his effort denied by the woodwork.

NorthEast United kept playing on the counter-attack and came tantalizingly close to scoring on a few occasions. Eventually, in the 32nd minute, they capitalized on an error from Mumbai City’s Mehtab Singh who handled the ball inside the box, following a cross from Emil Benny. The resultant penalty was slotted home coolly by Jordan, as NorthEast United went up 1-0.

Before half-time, Chhangte had an opportunity to pull the scores level, but the 24-year-old couldn’t get a proper connection and his effort from the top of the box was cleared out by the NorthEast United defence. 

Despite recording a 68% ball possession as against NorthEast’s 32%, Mumbai City couldn’t find the back of the net. Nevertheless, midfielder Apuia Ralte put on a quality show in the center of the park for Mumbai ensuring they had at least one positive to take from the game.

Following the break, NorthEast United went on to pile more misery on the Mumbai City defense. In the 50th minute, Alex Saji took matters into his own hands and went for a daunting run from the right flank to inside the box. In the process, Gani Ahmed had a powerful shot on target and goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa’s block resulted in the ball landing in Jordan’s feet. The Colombian forward made no mistake in tapping it in and making it 2-0 for his side.

On the other hand, Mumbai City kept moving forward and displayed a typical short passing game. With 20 minutes left on the clock, they almost pulled one back through substitute Ayush Chhikara. The youthful striker fended off three opposition defenders and managed to take a shot on target. But his blistering shot bounced off the crossbar and came back into play.

Finally, it was Apuia, who pulled one back for his side in the 85th minute. The midfielder charged in on a loose ball and drove it powerfully as the ball hit the underside of the bar and into the back of the net, catching goalkeeper Mirshad Michu totally off guard.

NorthEast United will now face Churchill Brothers in their ultimate Hero Super Cup group stage game, while Mumbai City FC lock horns with Chennaiyin FC on April 19 in a deciding match

Also ReadAIFF Executive Committee ushers new dawn for Women’s Football

Also Read: Bengaluru’s Udanta out for redemption in Hero Super Cup

VR Academy to conduct trials for 2024-25 Season

Mumbai based VR Academy has announced trials for the upcoming 2024-25 season. The club is looking for talented young players to join our esteemed academy and participate in various competitive…


MH ORANJE FC U-17 Trials for the Upcoming Season

With a proud legacy of nurturing talent and achieving excellence, Maharashtra Oranje FC has recently made waves with appearances in I-League 2, securing a remarkable runner-up position in the fiercely…


Football School of India announce trials for Young Talents

Football School of India (FSI) has announced trials for young football enthusiasts in the upcoming week of June. A golden opportunity for aspiring players to showcase their talents and potentially…


MFA Super League club Charkop FC to conduct open trials for upcoming Season

Calling all aspiring football stars! Charkop FC, a MFA super division club based in Charkop, Kandivali, is set to conduct Open Trials for the upcoming season. About Charkop FC: In…


Mumbai 42 Football Academy to conduct trials for Youth players

Newly established Mumbai 42 Football Academy will be conducting trials for young footballers in the upcoming week.


SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…