Indian Super League: Mumbai's playoff chances hit with third straight defeat

Updated: Feb 14, 2019, 10:24 IST | Ronald Chettiar

NEUFC and MCFC are in second and third spots respectively, tied on 27 points from 16 matches

Indian Super League: Mumbai's playoff chances hit with third straight defeat
Mumbai City FC's Modou Sougou takes a header against NorthEast United. Pic/ISL

Mumbai City FC (MCFC) suffered another dent to their playoff chances after losing 0-2 to NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) in an Indian Super League match at the Mumbai Football Arena, Andheri yesterday. This was their third consecutive defeat.

The hosts had no answer to NorthEast's high pressing and aggressive brand of football as Rowllin Borges (3rd minute) and Bartholomew Ogbeche (33rd) ran Mumbai ragged with first-half goals.

NEUFC and MCFC are in second and third spots respectively, tied on 27 points from 16 matches. The Mumbai side got off to a nervy start as they struggled to come to terms with the fast-paced game of their opponents.

NEUFC found their footing immediately and drew first blood when Keegan Pereira ran down the left-wing and sent in a perfect pass to Rowlin Borges, who slotted the ball past Mumbai captain and goalkeeper Amrinder Singh. Mumbai came close to restoring parity when Arnold Issoko's brilliant run down the right set up Rafael Bastos on the edge of the box, but he only managed to find the crossbar.

Mumbai seemed to up the tempo in search of the equaliser thereafter but they struggled to get past the well-organised NEUFC defence. With the match deep into the first half, Mumbai played with more attacking intent and pressed more men forward.

The visitors, sensing an opportunity, counter-attacked and double the lead in the 33rd minute. With ample space to exploit behind the Mumbai defence, Reagan Singh's cross from the right flank found Bartholomew, who simply rolled the ball into the net.

The second half saw Mumbai play with renewed vigour as they attacked the NEUFC defence at regularly intervals. However, NEUFC's well-oiled defence meant that Mumbai's last league match at home ended poorly.

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