Free Press Journal

Mumbai City look for third win in ISL against NorthEast 



Navi Mumbai: Following back-to-back victories in their den, Mumbai City FC’s confidence will be sky high as they will aim to hold on to the momentum when they face visitors NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the D.Y. Patil Stadium here on Wednesday.

After a slow start to the season, Mumbai have got back to winning ways with victories against Delhi Dynamos FC and FC Goa in their last two encounters and are placed in sixth position with seven points from five matches, having drawn one, won and lost two each. On the other hand, the visitors too, after a sluggish start, have come back strongly, beating Chennaiyin FC, followed by defeating defending champions Atletico de Kolkata in their previous two matches. They are now placed seventh in the standings with six points from five games, losing three and winning two.

India skipper Sunil Chhetri, who was bought by Mumbai in the players’ auction, has proved his worth with three goals in three outings and will be the key man for the home side yet again. Alongside Chhetri, the hosts will again depend on in-form Haitian forward Sony Norde, who has produced some excellent chances and assists in the ongoing tournament.

French football great Nicolas Anelka, who has taken on the extra responsibility of being Mumbai’s marquee-player-cum-coach, will be happy to have got the combination right in the last two matches and will hope the side delivers to register their third straight victory against the NorthEast side. Marquee player Simao Sabrosa, who played his first match for NorthEast against Chennaiyin, scored a penalty too under pressure.

Sabrosa, the former Portugal and Barcelona winger, must be confident after getting his name in the scoring chart and helping his side win two consecutive games. He will be the key for his side in the crucial match. Coach Cesar Farias has thrown in every possible card to bolster the fortunes of the team. Lately the team has gained some momentum and it has to be seen if they can take it forward as the crucial stage of the tournament approaches. Head-to-head, NorthEast are a step ahead with one win (2-0) and a draw (1-1) against Mumbai in their last two meetings.