Mumbai: Mumbai City FC kept the play-off hopes alive with a win over NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League game played at Mumbai Football Arena here on Friday.
Courtesy Diego Carlos goal just before the half-time ensured the victory for Islanders 1-0, as the North East failed to capitalise the limited opportunities.
With the win, Mumbai now sit on the fourth spot with 23 points, with three more games to go. The North East, meanwhile, find themselves at the second last of the ranking table with 11 points.
Earlier, in the first half, both side had the chances of an early corner within 10 minutes, despite a cautious approach.
The first major scoring opportunity for the Islanders came at the 14th minute with Carlos failing to head a crossover from midfielder Mohamed Larbi -- who has created most chances for Mumbai this season.
However, at 29', the Islanders came near close with Modou Sougou picking up the post.
Sougou pounced on a deflection inside the box but his shot came off the bar before being cleared away by the the Northeast defence.
While for North East, the first major opportunity came at 15', when Andrew Keogh failed to pounce on Reagan's cross, nearly missing out on a lead.
The game was evenly poised with only a minute left for the half time whistle. Until, Carlos, this time, took the matter in his hand after NE midfielder David Leudo header fell straight to the Brazilian, who unleashed a left-footed shot at the far corner. At half-time, Mumbai led 1-0.
Soon as the second half resumed, North East donned an attacking approach. At 53', Substitute Chaves Garcia targeted the nets from 25 yards, but was deflected away for a corner.
Three minutes later, followed a teasing free kick from Mumbai's Mohamad Larbi that curled just wide.
Mumbai well countered North East's attacking stance with a counter-attack. At 62', Sougou with the ball ran into the box and fired a powerful shot that missed the goal and as well a charging Amine Chermiti.
Into the final 15 minutes of the game, Gallego Revertria had the scoring opportunity but goalkeeper Amrinder Singh's safe hands averted it. Till 75', possession evenly matched between Mumbai (51 percent) and North East (49 percent).
With 5 minutes to go for the final whistle, NE managed two corner chances, but it was the same old story for the Highlanders, who now have six losses this season.