NEUFC vs MCFC, ISL 2020 as it happened: NorthEast United beats Mumbai City 1-0

MCFC vs NEUFC, Mumbai City vs North East United FC, ISL 2020: Kwesi Appiah scored a second half penalty to help NorthEast beat Mumbai City.

Appiah celebrates scoring NEUFC's opening goal against MCFC.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

Welcome to Sportstar's ISL blog of the match between North East United FC vs Mumbai City at Tilak Maidan, Goa.

Tomorrow is the big one: FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC (Preview). A new-look FC Goa with the same old philosophy will take on a hard-to-beat Bengaluru. Bengaluru has always out-smarted Goa in the ISL and for the new Goa manager Juan Ferrando, it would be his biggest test to show he is the man for the job. Match report and the talking points will be live soon. Until then, it's good night.

NEUFC coach Gerard Nus, "We are happy with the result and most of all the performance - discipline and hard work. The teammates on he bench too are pushing the first teamers. It's about the group. I am happy with the passion and discipline from my group. We can't compare salaries and quality players they have, but we needed to work hard and credit to the players. The penalty goes against you and for you. It was a clear penalty. We didn't relax and they had some approached because they had threat, I am sure they will get to top 4 this season. Ambition is next game against Kerala Blasters, I can't think too far ahead.

MCFC coach Lobera, "Obviously when you don't win there is scope for improvement. Especially the red card changed the game, I am proud of the attitude of my players. Now we need to work and focus on the next game. [On Jahouh's suspension for next 3 games] I have 20 players and I am happy with my squad and I like to speak of the collective than individual. We will be positive against FC Goa. [On getting best out of Ogbeche, le Fondre] We need to try some things. we had short pre-season and two traiining sessions before the game and I thought we put the best XI. Adam has the ability to play from the right so I played him there. Maybe we need to make change for the next game."

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Camara on the man-on-the-match award and the win, "I am very happy for my first game in india. I hope it's going to be a good season for us. It's only the first game and we have to be focussed for the next game. We knew they were one of the best ISL teams and are very good with the ball. Today was a success to our team. I cannot say much about Blasters because I don't know. The coach will have a strategy for them."

Defensive midfielder Khassa Camara had the biggest impact on the night on his ISL debut. He was the man involved in the red card incident and he made 10 tackles, 3 interceptions and 4 clearances. He was always in the face of the MCFC players covering every blade of grass.

A rare, poor performance from a Sergio Lobera side. No shots on target the full 90 minutes. The red card for Jahouh in the first half didn't help. NEUFC ran hard and covered the spaces well at both ends of the pitch.  Lobera will need to find a way to compliment the skillsets of both Ogbeche and le Fondre, who are both no. 9s, in the same XI.

Gerard Nus punches the air a couple of times in delight. What a way to make your ISL debut. A David slays Goliath result in favour of NorthEast United. NEUFC had gone over a year and 14 games without a win and no one would have given it a chance to end that streak tonight against the star-studded MCFC but that's exactly what it has gone and done.

SECOND HALF

FULL-TIME! NEUFC 1-0 MCFC

90' + 5' Cy Goddard is booked after a coming together for a loose ball with Fox.

90' + 3' A chance on the counter for NEUFC. Imran takes the ball off Ninthoi's feet, cits in to the left nd unleashes a curving strike which blazes off target.

90' +2' Yellow card for Gallego for a late challenge.

NEUFC SUB: Lalengmawia OFF, Imran Khan ON

Six minutes of added time.

90' Boumous dropping to the middle of the park to play long pings like Jahouh but he doesn't get the right pace on it. Ball rolls away for a goal kick.

85' It's one-way traffic at the moment with MCFC piling on the pressure in the NEUFC half. Fox crucially gets in the way off a Farukh snap shot after a pin-ball in the NEUFC box. That shot appeared to be going in. Superb skill by Farukh to fashion a chance out of nothing in the box.

81' Vignesh wins a corner on the left.

78' Cross from the left is deflected into the six yard box which Subhasish spills into a dangerous area but lucky for him Lambot was on hand to clear it away.

Both the full-backs come off for Mumbai City as we take the final drinks break.

MCFC SUBS: Rakip, Mandar OFF; Vignesh, Ranawade ON

74' A dangerous cross from Goddard from the right which Ashutosh does well to cut off.

20 minutes left for MCFC to turn this game around.

68' NEUFC SUB: Sylla comes on for goal-scorer Appiah.

66' Sarthak comes in the way of a free header le Fondre from a corner but the defender himself comes narrowly close to firing his header on target.

65' Boumous wins a free-kick 35-yards off the NEUFC goal. Sarthak latches on to a loose ball from the set piece but his touch is too heavy allowing Fox to clear the ball away. 

62' Ashutosh with a surging run down the right before he is cut off.

Boumous having to drop deep to help MCFC back in possession.

59' NEUFC SUBS: Rempuia, Gallego IN; Machado, Lalrempuia OFF

Le Fondre will move to the no. 9 role and Goddard will take up his place on the right.

58' MCFC change: Cy Goddard replaces Ogbeche.

Right winger Ninthoi Meetei has the most tackles (7) for NEUFC so far.

56' Meetei wins another corner. Ball set up at the edge of area for Lalengmawia but he scuffs it over the bar.

54' Meetei does well on the right to win a corner. He rolls along the floor after Sarthak catches him with a sliding challenge.

52' Game is a bit open now. After a shot saved by Amrinder, MCFC breaks to the other end through le Fondre on the right but his cross into the box is cut off by Camara.

What a way it would be for NEUFC to break its 14-match winless run with a win over Mumbai City. Still over 40 minutes left for it to get to that elusive win.

49' GOAL! And he coolly slots it in sending Amrinder the wrong way to his right. 

Appiah steps up for his first shot on goal in the ISL.

47' PENALTY! From the corner kick, Fox heads it across goal and the ball hits the arm of Borges. Nus is pumped on the touchline, MCFC players are enraged.

46' NEUFC kicks off the second half.

FIRST HALF

NEUFC will be happier of the two sides and will be hoping to make the man advantage count in the second half. MCFC can bring Fall in place of one of its attackers and move Santana into midfield.  MCFC hasn't looked penetrative with its build-up yet and Lobera will not abandon the high risk football even with a man down.

45'+3' Seemed like a foul on Ogbeche inside the box by Camara but the referee says no penalty. A dramatic five minutes to end the half. Half time whistle blown.

45' +2' MCFC still looking to force the all the attacking play... But no way past the NEUFC defence.

Three minutes of added time.

Mourtada Fall is seen warming up.

43' RED CARD! Not the greatest of debuts for Ahmed Jahouh. He sees red for a two-footed tackle on Camara.

Foul by Farukh from behind on Camara and Nus. He gets a talking to from the referee.

41' Good intricate play near the edge of the penalty box from Boumous, Ogbeche and Mandar and the left-back was in space for a shot but instead chooses to square it back to Boumous to lose possession.

NEUFC has soaked up the pressure well so far. It will like to test MCFC's high backline with a quick break.

37' Booking for Sarthak for what appeared to be a late challenge on Machado but replay shows there was no touch. Paul Masefield is enraged on the air. He doesn't like simulation.

35' Ogbeche wins a free-kick after a bit of poor passing from NEUFC from the back. Lalengmawia was flailing his arms about asking his centre backs to find him early but a back pass to Subhasis led to a giveaway.

Raynier is on the bench with his knee strapped. Not sure what the official reason is yet.

32' He is back on the field now and NEUFC has a rare spell in possession. Mumbai immediately win it back.

Boumous has been asked to leave the field to change his black shorts he is wearing underneath his yellow shorts.

We have our first water break of the night.

29' NEUFC is closing down its opponents on the ball quickly and is holding its defensive shape well.

For all the possession, MCFC hasn't been able to fashion a clear-cut chance yet.

25' Raynier goes down near the touchline and it looks like an early sub - similar to last night.Farukh Chaudhary will make his MCFC debut.

22' Corner for Mumbai City. Sarthak looks to hook it towards goal but doesnt make the right connection. A headed clearance falls kindly for Borges, whose volleyed effort narrowly misses the near post goal.

72 percent possession for Mumbai City so far.

17' Boumous cuts in from the left to square the ball into the centre for Mandar, whose shot is well off target.

15' Rakip wins the ball inside NEUFC's half and the ball ricochets onto the path of Jahouh, whose shot was rising over the bar.

13' Corner from Boumous finds Ogbeche, who puts it over the bar.

12' le Fondre races on to a through ball on the right side and he whips it into the area which Ashutosh put it behind for a corner.

11' Sarthak comes over to the right side to stop Machada from breaking down the left side after a poor and rare giveaway by Jahouh.

Mumbai City is slowly getting into its passing rhythm

7' Wow. Jahouh with a contender for the pass of the season already. He just rifled it into the feet of Boumous along the floor after setting himself up for a volley.

6' NEUFC looked to break through on goal before Sarthak deals with the danger.

5' Boumous is down now after a clash of heads with Fox

3' Ninthoingba steps on the foot of Santana, who writhes in pain. He seems okay to continue.

Jahouh immediately dropping into a centre back role in possession alongside Santana.

1' Mumbai City get the ball rolling at Tilak Maidan from right to left. Camara wins the ball straight from kick off!

It's time for kick-off.

7.25 pm: NEUFC will line up in red. Mumbai City to play in its yellow away strip. Just why? There was no risk of a kit clash...

7.20 pm: Borges and Jahouh to shield the back four in the midfield pivot. The attacking quartet in front of them will be le Fondre (right wing), Boumous, Raynier (left wing) and Ogbeche.

7.10 pm: Here's a statistical preview of this game

6.55 pm: We have some latest development in the ATK Mohun Bagan ranks ahead of the Kolkata derby... Michael Soosairaj is likely to be out of action for a month after his knee injury last night. - READ

6.45 pm: Big call from Nus to drop Federico Gallego for the opener. Lalengmawia, who impressed on his debut season in 2019-20 for the Highlanders will start in midfield alongside Camara and Lalrempuia Fanai. Kewsi Appiah will lead the line and he will be flanked by Ninthoingba Meetei and Machado. Here's a factfile on NEUFC's foreign signings this season. - READ

Team news

NorthEast United XI  (4-3-3)

Subhasish Roy Chowdhury; Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar; Khassa Camara, Lalrempuia Fanai, Lalengmawia; Luis Machado, Kwesi Appiah, Ninthoinganba Meetei

Mumbai City FC XI  (4-2-3-1)

Amrinder Singh; Mohammad Rakip, Hernan Santana, Sarthak Golui, Mandar Rao Dessai; Ahmed Jahouh, Rowllin Borges; Adam Le Fondre, Hugo Boumous, Raynier Fernandes; Bartholomew Ogbeche

6.33 pm: Awaiting official news on the starting XIs...

6.25 pm: Gerard Nus' NEUFC isn't here to just make up the numbers. Last season, the club finished a lowly ninth after a 14-match winless streak. The youngest coach in the league is confident of achieving positive results this year. - READ

6.15 pm: Goa-born Mandar Rao Dessai, former FC Goa skipper and player of six years, was among the group of players, who followed Lobera to Mumbai City. In this interview, he talks about the reason for his exit, life in a bio-bubble, addition of SC East Bengal and more. - READ

6 pm: Mumbai City's City Football Group (CFG) era official kicks off on the pitch today against NorthEast United. It's a new-look MCFC with Sergio Lobera and he is joined ny several of his former players from FC Goa. NEUFC, too, has a new head coach Gerard Nus has bolstered the squad with some impressive foreign players. Dominic Richard previews the match. - READ

Follow Sportstar's full coverage (Latest news, Interviews, Features, Points table, Quiz, Videos) of ISL 2020-21 here. Click here

ISL 2020-21 points table

A big preview for the biggest season yet. Our reporters have their say on whether NorthEast United and Mumbai City FC are among their picks for the ISL title. Listen to our 'Full Time Show' Podcast for the 2020-21 season.

NorthEast United FC predicted XI (4-2-3-1)

Subhasish Roy Chowdhury; Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Gurjinder Kumar, Rakesh Pradhan; Britto PM, Khassa Camara; Federico Gallego, Kwesi Appiah, Lalkhawpuimawia; Idrissa Sylla

Mumbai City FC predicted XI (4-2-3-1)

Amrinder Singh; Mohammad Rakip, Hernan Santana, Sarthak Golui, Tondonba Singh; Ahmed Jahouh, Rowllin Borges; Adam Le Fondre, Hugo Boumous, Raynier Fernandes; Bartholomew Ogbeche

We have got you covered for your fantasy NEUFC-Mumbai City XI. Captaincy pick: Bartholomew Ogbeche,

Combined NEUFC-MCFC XI

Amrinder Singh (MCFC); Mohammad Rakip (MCFC), Ashutosh Mehta (NEUFC), Rakesh Pradhan (NEUFC), Sarthak Golui (MCFC); Rowllin Borges (MCFC), Federico Gallego (NEUFC), Hugo Boumous (MCFC); Adam le Fondre (MCFC), Idrissa Sylla (NEUFC), Bartholomew Ogbeche (MCFC)

The Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) will mark the return of major league competition in India after the nationwide lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak was first imposed in March.

The seventh edition of the ISL gets underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa from November 20.

The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following SC East Bengal's inclusion, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.

ISL 2020 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar