Mumbai: Diego Forlan scored from the spot in the second half as Mumbai City FC snapped NorthEast United FC’s two-match winning run in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Friday.
Forlan aimed for the roof of the net and beat NEUFC goalkeeper Subrata Paul who got a hand to the ball to net in the 55th minute after Pronay Halder was chopped down by Reagan Singh inside the danger zone.
The win helped the Alexandre Guimaraes managed side move to second spot in the points table with two wins from two matches, while Nelo Vingada and his charges remained on top with six points from three outings.
There was a flurry of attacks in the dying minutes of the match from the visitors with two back to back corners in added time. But nothing worked as the hosts kept their slate clean.
Mumbai City stuck to the same team that beat FC Pune City in their first game with all eyes on marquee player Diego Forlan who still did not look fully fit.
The visitors made three changes to their last game.Fleet-footed winger Seityasen Singh was deemed fit to start along with the marquee player Didier Zokora who started for the first time. Forward Nico Velez was drafted in too with Wellington Priori, Mailson Alves and Holicharan Narzary making way for the trio.
The first half was a midfield battle for the most part.
Zokora, playing at centre-back, marked Forlan diligently with a diving clearance in the 36th minute robbing this season’s most sought-after recruit a chance to connect to the ball.
The best chance of the half fell to the visitors with the match five minutes to half time.
Velez, who put in a superb shift down the inside left channel, cut inside to slip a neat pass to Yusa Katsumi. The Japanese inexplicably spurned his effort from around the penalty box with no one marking him. North East’s RowlinA
Borges picked up a needless yellow card in the half, losing his temper for not enjoying the space he had been getting in the last two games.
The second half was all about the penalty and NEUFC’s response from thereafter. Koffi Christian N’dri, Rowlin Borges and substitute Holicharan Nazarywere all involved in a slick move that saw lone striker Emiliano Alfaro fail to connect properly.
Later, Alfaro took on three defenders and passed to Katsumi but the latter failed to get enough power behind the ball.