ISL 2020-21: NorthEast United vs Mumbai City FC - Talking Points

Kwesi Appiah's penalty was enough as NorthEast United defeated 10-man Mumbai City, which had Ahmed Jahouh red carded at the Tilak Maidan in Goa.

NorthEast United striker Kwesi Appiah celebrates his goal against Mumbai City in the 2020-21 ISL on Saturday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Mumbai City FC's early momentum in Saturday's game came to a screeching halt after Ahmed Jahouh's red card and Rowllin Borges' handball as Kwesi Appiah's spot-kick guided NorthEast United FC to a 1-0 victory at the Tilak Maidan in Goa.

Here are the major talking points from match two of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL).

1) JAHOUH'S SILLY TACKLE PUT MCFC ON THE BACK FOOT

Mumbai was completely dominating possession in the first-half against NorthEast. However, a silly tackle from Jahouh on Khassa Camara put MCFC on the backfoot as the Moroccan midfielder was shown a red card in the 43rd minute.

READ | ISL 2020-21 news: NorthEast sinks 10-man Mumbai City after Appiah penalty

Just two minutes into the second-half, NEUFC bagged the lead against an opposition reduced to 10 men. Moments later, Mumbai head coach Sergio Lobera was forced to tweak his strategy by withdrawing star striker Bartholomew Ogbeche.

But that decision didn't prove any good. Jahouh will now miss the Islanders' next game against his old team FC Goa, which is also Lobera's former employer.

2) NEUFC COMMITTED FEWER ERRORS THAN MCFC

The attackers from both teams were very sloppy on Saturday. There were only two shots on target in the entire game, with MCFC registering none. The Highlanders committed fewer errors on the field, thereby overcoming their opponent by the slightest of margins.

NorthEast striker Appiah made the most of a Borges handball to score from the spot and give his side a 1-0 lead. Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh dived in the wrong direction much to the delight of the NEUFC players and manager Gerard Nus.

ALSO READ | Mumbai City FC's Ahmed Jahouh gets first red card of ISL 2020-21

From there, NorthEast, displaying a calm and composed brand of football, held its nerve to bag the clean sheet and the full three points.

3) RAYNIER INJURY A CONCERN FOR LOBERA

Apart from Jahouh, Lobera is likely to miss Raynier Fernandes as well for his team's next outing. The MCFC midfielder seemed to have injured his groin muscle halfway through the first half. He was soon replaced by new signing Farukh Choudhary in the middle.

After ATK Mohun Bagan's Michael Soosairaj picked up a knee injury against Kerala Blasters on Friday, Raynier has unfortunately become the second victim. A majority of the ISL players this season are featuring in a professional game after a long interval due to the pandemic.

So the fitness of some of players will definitely be a concern for the respective teams. Lobera and the Mumbai management will be hoping that Raynier's injury is nothing serious.     

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