ISL friendly: Mumbai FC's Lalrindika Ralte lights up Cooperage

Mumbai FC City striker scores fine left-footed volley as ISL outfit beat ONGC 2-1 in final friendly

Mumbai City FC edged out ONGC 2-1 in their final friendly at the Cooperage yesterday before their Indian Super League opener against Atletico de Kolkata on Sunday at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium.

Mumbai City FC's Lalrindika Ralte
Mumbai City FC's Lalrindika Ralte (left) scores against ONGC at Cooperage yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble.

The game was lit up by a Lalrindika Ralte stunner in the first half before defender Peter Costa doubled Mumbai’s advantage in the second. The Mumbai team, however, failed to close out the game and conceded a late own goal through Rohit Mirza.

The Mumbai side were without marquee player Freddie Ljungberg, who is suffering a niggle in his hamstring, former Germany defender Manuel Friedrich and India goalkeeper Subrata Pal, who was away on national duty.

Ljungberg’s injury might further hamper the Mumbai side’s opening ISL encounter given they are already without star striker Nicolas Anelka, who is serving a three-match for his controversial Quenelle salute in the English Premier League while playing for West Bromwich Albion last season.

In the absence of Ljungberg, the attention of the 100-odd people, who turned up for the encounter, was focused on Anelka. The Frenchman had a quiet night though, often dropping back to build up attacks from the midfield with long balls over the heads of opposition defenders.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Arsenal man’s display though was overshadowed by Ralte’s left-footed volley from outside the box. Mumbai City FC had good reason to be pleased with the result.

“We were wary of playing ONGC. They have a strong side, probably the best team we have played so far. This game was a good test for our foreigners. ONGC was,” said India player Syed Rahim Nabi.

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