[India], Dec 4 (ANI): A brilliant second-half charge by Mumbai City FC saw them pick up a 4-2 victory over Delhi Dynamos FC in the ongoing fifth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday.
The Delhi team were leading by a goal at half-time but paid the price for being wasteful in front of goal yet again, as they slumped to their 6th defeat of the season. They are still winless after 10 matches.
The win lifts the Mumbai City to the fourth spot in the ISL table with 17 points from 9 matches. Delhi, on the other hand, stay in the bottom position with just four points to their name.
To the home crowd's delight, Delhi took the lead just three minutes into the match. Adria Carmona initiated the attack from the midfield and the ball eventually found its way to Lallianzuala Chhangte inside the Mumbai box. The Delhi No. 7 tried to fizz in a cross for the onrushing Rene Mihelic, prompting Sauvik Chakrabarti to attempt a block. The Mumbai defender managed to get his foot in, but unfortunately, his touch ended up taking the ball past goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and into the net. The goal was awarded to Chhangte by the officials, who deemed his attempted cross may have been goalbound.
Just minutes later, Chhangte was a menace down the left yet again. He floated in a sumptuous cross, but it eluded everyone inside the box.
Delhi made a bright start and Chhangte seemed to be at the centre of every attack they created. The youngster carved open the Mumbai defence with a cross once more, but this time from the right. His picked out Nandhakumar Sekar with a pin-point delivery but the 22-year-old skied his shot.
Mumbai offered very little going forward in the first 20 minutes and it took a long-range effort from Rafael Bastos to provide the first real test of the match for Albino Gomes in the Delhi goal.
Mumbai's best chance of the half came on the 36th minute, after Arnold Issoko chased down a Sehnaj Singh pass from inside his own half. Issoko did well to hold off two defenders and got his shot away, but his attempt went wide.
The teams went into the break, with Delhi leading 1-0.
It was a frantic start to the second-half as Mumbai came flying off the blocks in search of the equaliser. The Islanders almost got one through Modou Sougou just minutes after the restart, but the Delhi custodian made a sharp save to keep him at bay.
However, almost immediately after, Mumbai were awarded a penalty after Delhi captain Pritam Kotal's hand hit the ball inside his own box.
Bastos dispatched the spot kick with authority to draw things level. The hosts could have hit back within seconds after Chhangte found himself through on goal. The winger's shot, however, was too close to Amrinder, who punched it away.
Delhi's inability to convert their chances have come back to haunt them time and again this season and it happened once more. Bastos floated in a hopeful cross and Delhi defender Marti Crespi tried to head it away. Crespi's looping header eluded Gomes and ended up in the back of the net. Delhi's luck, or the lack of it, was at work yet again as the visitors took a 2-1 lead.
The match was, however, far from over. The Lions clawed their way back into the match on the 64th minute after Gianni Zuiverloon outjumped Lucian Goian to head home from Mihelic's free kick.
With Delhi fans hoping for a comeback, the match was turned on its head again. Raynier Fernandes, who came on as a first-half substitute in place of Milan Singh, kept his cool to slot in Mumbai's third from a Paulo Machado cross. 69 minutes into the match, the score read 3-2 in the away team's favour.
In a desperate attempt to find the equaliser, Delhi committed players forward and were promptly punished for it. Issoko found space down the right flank after a quick counter and played a brilliant waited cross for Machado to tap in.
Delhi managed to engineer a few dangerous opportunities in the final ten minutes but couldn't pull anything back. It was Mumbai's first ISL win against Delhi at their home ground.
Mumbai City FC's captain for the night, Paulo Machado, was the catalyst of their second-half charge. He pulled the strings in the midfield and pitched in with a goal and an assist. He is the Hero of the Match.
Mumbai will be in action next on December 6 when they host Chennaiyin FC, while Delhi's next venture will be an away match against Jamshedpur FC on December 12. (ANI)