Italian scores first hat-trick of Indian Super League as Mumbai City FC open their account with 5-0 win in Maharashtra derby at DY Patil Stadium
Navi Mumbai: Andre Moritz scored the Indian Super League's (ISL) first hat-trick as Mumbai City FC thumped FC Pune City 5-0 at Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium on Saturday.
Mumbai City FC's Andre Moritz celebrates against Pune City FC on Saturday. Pic/Suresh KK
The Italian, who was training with Crystal Palace before joining the Mumbai franchise just two days before the ISL began, scored twice in the first half before completing his hat-trick in the second to ensure that the home team did not miss striker Nicolas Anelka, who is serving a three-match suspension.
The rout also earned Mumbai their first points after their 0-3 defeat against Atletico de Kolkata in their ISL opener. However, Moritz warned his teammates against getting complacent in the third game. "It was a perfect day. All the supporters got behind us from the minute we stepped onto the pitch.
But we have to keep our focus and must keep our feet on the ground," he said after the match. Moritz put Mumbai ahead in the 12th minute. The midfielder found himself in acres of space on the right wing after being fed a long ball from Lalrindika Ralte during a Mumbai counterattack. The midfielder cut into the centre before lashing a fierce shot into the far corner.
Moritz doubled the home team's advantage in the 27th minute after effortlessly turning Lalrindika Ralte's cornerkick into the net. The corner itself came from a fine attacking move from Mumbai, which needed a fine save from 'keeper Emanuele Belardi.
Belardi was called into action again in the 31st minute when Lalrindika unleashed a shot after finding himself on the end of a Singam Subash Singh cutback.
Singam got on the scoresheet himself in the 37th minute after Jan Stohanzl fed him a pass on the right flank. The forward ran towards the goal before firing in a low shot that found the right-hand bottom corner.
In the second half, Pune, who played most of the match with three central defenders, made two substitutions with Lenny Rordigues making way for Kwang-Il Park while Israil Gurung replaced Andres Ramirez. The Mumbai franchise made their own change in the 68th minute when they brought on marquee man Freddie Ljungberg for Stohanzl, much to the delight of the Mumbai fans.
Pune's changes seemed to work for a while with their players seeing more of the ball and looking like a better side than they were in the first half. However, any slim hopes that the visitors had of mounting a comeback were killed off in the 71st minute when Moritz got his hat-trick. The midfielder burst into the box before hoodwinking a defender to shoot the ball into the bottom left corner.
Letzelter does it...
Johan Letzelter made it five for Mumbai in the 85th minute. The Frenchman only had to apply the finishing touch after a blazing run down the right flank from Bhutia which saw him glide past a hapless Pune defender before passing to a thankful Letzelter.
Pune had a few chances in the entire game and came closest to scoring in the 22nd minute when Pune marquee player David Trezeguet's acrobatic bicycle kick hit the crossbar. Trezeguet, who had an uncharacteristically quiet game, also had a great chance in the second minute itself when he earned his side a freekick right outside the box.
But the Frenchman placed his kick high over the bar. From there on, it was Mumbai all the way. "The first thing I would tell my boys tonight is that the championship goes on. Mumbai had lost 0-3 in the opening game and they have now bounced back 5-0 in their second. I will tell my players this is what is required. This is what we can also do in the next game," said Pune coach Franco Colomba.
Moritz uncorks a powerful left footed shot from outside the right corner of the box
The Italian effortlessly turns Ralte’s cornerkick into the goalpost
Moritz hoodwinks a defender to shoot the ball into the bottom left corner
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