ISL: Mumbai City blanks Delhi Dynamos

The win sees Mumbai City jump to second, behind Chennaiyin, while Delhi Dynamos is rooted to the bottom of the tabe.

Mumbai players celebrate one of the four goals they scored.   -  ISL

Two red cards flashed one after the other led to a double expulsion for the first time in ISL season four. Sehnaj Singh and Claudio Mathias were sent out, reducing Mumbai City FC and Delhi Dynamos FC to 10-men for the entire second half. MCFC came up trumps before and after the confrontation, two goals in each half for a 4-0 victory in front of fans at Mumbai Football Arena.

Mumbai City captain Lucian Golan, Everton Santos, Thiago Santos and in-form forward Balwant singh were on target. Bustling midfielder Achille Emana made an impact without getting on the scoring sheet. He hit a penalty kick into the post for teammate to convert the rebound, floated in a free-kick for another to nod in, set up the fourth with a hooked pass over the defence.

The flashpoint was a 45th minute off-the-ball incident resulting in Sehnaj and Claudio, two competitive players venting anger on rival. The latter lost balance and fell on the former, who reacted with a shove in provocation. The referee showed the red card to both, taking his time as the assembled players from both teams closed in to support teammaate.

Action extended beyond the pitch as Mathias closed in on Sehnaj walking away, both players squared up for a fight at the exit gate. Luckily, referee Rahul Kumar Gupta had blown for half-time by then and a confrontation between two hotheads did not go out of hand. The players walked off, the crowd roared in excitement. The visitors lost sixth tie in a row, the home team nothced win number four.

Action began early at the MFA and the crowd howled in horror as Everton Santos was scythed down by goalkeeper Arnab Das Sharma going for a diving block and trying to pick the ball off the striker’s boots. The jeers turned to delight as the referee awarded a penalty kick against Delhi Dynamos. The best part was still to come.

Arnab took his time to regain concentration under the bar after being responsible for the 11th minute setback. Emana attempted a tap towards the left post, the goalkeeper dived the other way but the ball struck the upright and rolled back. Lucian swept home in a flash, the first to react.

Arindam Bhattacharya, Mumbai City custodian, kept his cool as Romeo Fernandes came in on a diagonal run from the run for a blast, the ball swirled away from target. Delhi Dynamos were denied the equaliser by the right post, a  power-packed shot by Claudio Mathias bounced onto the post with the goalkeeper out of range. The latter later got the red card.

The home team struck the second blow off a setpiece situation. Emana floated the ball in from near the right corner flag for Everton  to leap in time for a snap header into the net near the right post. The drumbeats picked up pace, the Mumbai fans roared in delight.

Arnab pushed the ball ahead, Thaigo was at hand for an easy tap in for the blues third goal early in the second half..  Everton had a hand in the goal, arching his back for a looping header onto the crossbar off a flag-kick, the ball rolled off the post awkwardly for the custodian reacted in haste.

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