Northeast will fight out against the leaders of the season in Saturday’s Indian Football League encounter. Highlanders defeated Mariners in the last game, while, Mumbai were held for the second draw of the month against Chennai.
Match Timings: Dec 30, 7:30 PM IST
After finding the victory against the Mariners in the last game, Northeast will face Sergio Lobero’s Mumbai in the second-leg game of the Indian Football League 2020-21. Highlanders are the only side who defeated Mumbai this edition which was recorded in its season opener. Northeast have now defeated both the top sides of the season and it’s a remarkable achievement for them. The first half ended without any goal but the second half was pretty intense. Northeast drew the first blood. Center-back Tiri sent the ball to Gallego who delivered a good pass to Machado. The Portuguese winger sent the ball past Bhattacharya. This goal created a big controversy and Kolkata giants had already made a complaint about it.
For the first time, Habas’ side were under pressure in the second half but Roy Krishna found the equaliser in the 72nd minute. After the equaliser, Mariners looked dangerous and Krishan almost got a brace but Manvir Singh’s cross was just over hit. In the 81st minute, Highlanders took the lead again as Gallego curled the ball past Arindam Bhattacharya. Northeast could have doubled the lead when Machado produced a cross but Rochharzela failed to connect the header. It didn’t cost them much due to the early lead and the Mariners suffered the third defeat of the season.
Meanwhile, Mumbai are coming off a 1-1 draw against Chennai and they played second draw in the last three matches. Mumbai took the lead in the 21st minute when Bartholomew Ogbeche headed the ball into the net through a good cross from Bipin Singh. The first half went in Mumbai’s favour. Chennai fought hard to avail opportunities. When the match was in Mumbai’s control, they conceded a silly penalty when Ahmed Jahouh tried to dribble past Jakub Sylvestr. Esmael Goncalves took advantage and scored an equalizer.
Sergio Lobero has assured Mumbai’s playoffs qualification with dominating performance throughout the season. With 30 points from 13 matches, the Islanders are the strong contender for the AFC Champions League qualification. After the defeat of the Mariners in the previous game clarified Mumbai’s chances at the top of the table. Mumbai cannot forget the first match defeat against Northeast when one Appiah’s 49th-minute penalty strike secure three points for Highlanders.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Amrinder Singh; Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Rowllin Borges, Raynier Fernandes, Ahmed Jahouh, Hernan Santana, Hugo Boumous, Bipin Singh, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Current Form: D W D W W
Previous Match: 1-1 draw with Chennai
Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Mashoor Shereef, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar, Lalengmawia, Khassa Camara, Federico Gallego, VP Suhair, Luis Machado, Deshorn Brown
Current Form: D W D W W
Previous Match: 2-1 victory over Mohun B.
Adam le Fondre
6 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
4 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
2 goals & 4 assists in Indian Football League 2020-21