ISL: Mumbai City moves into top-four with 1-0 win over NorthEast United

Diego Carlos scored the only goal of the match as Mumbai City FC overcame NorthEast United FC 1-0 to move above Odisha FC in the 2019-20 ISL standings.

Diego Carlos of Mumbai City FC in action against NorthEast United at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Diego Carlos’ 44th-minute goal was enough as Mumbai City FC (MCFC) extended its winning run at home, with support from the defence. The victory against a spirited NorthEast United FC (NEUFC), in front of roaring fans at the Mumbai Football Arena, lifted the home side into fourth place on the Indian Super League (ISL) standings. NorthEast's Reagan Singh was sent off for a second yellow card offence in three minutes, late in the match.

Carlos put Mumbai in front with calm thinking and stunning execution. Trapping the ball bouncing within range off a clearance, he evaded the first charge of Reagan with a smooth turn, glanced up to spot custodian Subhashish Chowdhury at the near post and executed a left-footed shot along the turf to the far post, watched by a transfixed goalkeeper in.

NEUFC survived a flurry of attacks from the blue shirts in the second half. Early on, Modou Sougou had sidestepped a defender to move away and struck for goal, this time the ball rolled across the goalpost.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS | ISL FT: Mumbai City beats NorthEast United 1-0

Two first-half yellow cards were a worry for home team coach, Jorge Costa, after midfielder Diego Carlos and defender Mohammad Rafique were booked. The latter went for a sliding tackle on Povrat Lakra bursting down the left, timed his tackle late and ended up hacking at his rival’s legs.

In the first 45 minutes, the upright blocked a spectacular try by Sougou, whipping a right-footer on the turn but unlucky to see the ball ricochet back into the sidebar. Carlos made his presence felt down the left. After defensive duties on the left, the Brazilian’s pacy runs troubled NEUFC. His run in the 90th minute provoked a foul from Reagan, resulting in the second yellow card for the latter.

Raynier Fernandes sat in the dugout as MCFC went into the game without the in-form playmaker. Sourav Das got the first-team look-in. Earlier, NorthEast made inroads from the right, forcing a couple of corners. Mumbai then tested the opposition from the left side, winning a corner for itself. Neither team could capitalise on numerous such set-pieces in the first half.

The visitor looked sharp at the beginning of the game but it slowly conceded ground as the match wore on and was pegged into its half after the resumption. NEUFC approached the goal from different angles but was not able to beat Mumbai skipper Amrinder Singh at goal. This loss is the sixth in 13 outings for NorthEast.

THE RESULT:

Mumbai City FC 1 (Diego Carlos 44) beat NorthEast United FC 0.

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