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And the Reds went marching on : A Review of Mumbai City vs North-East United FC

You must have heard of Monday Blues right? Well this was a Saturday Stunner! A weekend wowlza! Where do we begin? League leaders Mumbai came to Bambolim with hopes of continuing their 12 games unbeaten run, only to be spoilt by the Highlanders. A run that followed the first defeat for Mumbai in the opening match. A full-strength Mumbai City (sorry trolls, no chance to bring up the 'one-man less' excuse time) succumbed to Khalid-ball and the sheer willpower of the Redmen to rattle Lobera's cage.

Benjamin Lambot made a comeback from injury to replace Fox and he had the first chance of the game in the second minute and he looked suspiciously onside there. Then came the Dance of Deshorn. Two goals in nine minutes to put North-East United at a commanding position. First one a first-time cross by Nim that was struck with a volley as sweet as port wine. Arguably the best keeper in the league had probably the worst night in the box for the season. In the 9th minute, a corner by Gallego was flicked on towards Brown in a crowded box. Boy was he not the first one to react? 2-0!

Provat Lakra made a start replacing the suspended Gurjinder and the boy used his chance to the fullest. The laundry guy probably found Jakichand in his pockets. With his incisive tackling and interceptions and his positional awareness, he reminded everyone why the boy from Bengal was named promising. His forward play was encouraging as well, trying to do what Ashutosh Mehta does on the other flank. He definitely put a ball on a platter for Deshorn to score what would have been the first hat-trick of the ISL this season. After the two goals, it was all about managing the game until half time which the boys did with great discipline and character. Ogbeche had couple of chances but Mashoor Shereef and Benjamin Lambot had one of the most resilient partnerships to be ever seen. It was the bravery and grit to clear balls and be in the right position at the right time. A tackle off Ogbeche's shot and a brilliant tackle to clear Jackichand's rebound showed they meant business.

The midfield was ever so solid with Camara and Apuia marshalling the zones and Gallego playing right behind Deshorn to orchestrate the play. It was a joy to watch the boys control the game and create chances to pounce on the counter. There was proper intent to destabilize the Mumbai blueprint.

The second half saw a balanced game probably because Mumbai City were trying to get back. Khalid's strategy to neutralize players like Boumous, Bipin worked perfectly with the Moroccon along with his fellow countryman Ahmed Jahou having a frustrating night. Charra was introduced later on to replace VP Suhair who had a good game too. It was a memorable moment for local lad from Assam, Pragyan Gogoi who made his club debut on an absolutely amazing night for the Highlanders. A night to remember for the young Assamese.

Adam le Fondre scored one for the home side which did bring up our anxiety level, but the boys performed terrifically well and we can be proud of the way they took the game to league leaders.

An ever-so-important save by Subhasish towards the end made sure the Highlanders registered their 3rd consecutive victory, keeping the race for the play-offs hopeful.

Up next, FC Goa. Another test for Khalid's men to push for a shot at glory.

Up the Highlanders

We Walk Through This Together.


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