Goals from Mtonga and Felipe, stunned hosts Mumbai City FC, as the Ranbir Kapoor co-owned side succumbed to a 2-0 loss, its second defeat in three games.
Continuing with their winning Line-up, Mumbai City FC started with Subhash upfront, Andre Moritz was deployed as a creative midfielder, a position the Brazilian scored a hattrick from, while Cmvos and Friedrich made the defensive center back pairing.
Meanwhile, an underdog NorthEast United side, started in with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Crowd favorite Durga Boro, played upfront, while Issac Chansa and Mtonga, patrolled the Midfield region, sitting as the double pivot.
A third minute heavy tackle, into Issac Chansa, set the tone for the first half of the match. Mumbai City started with their crisp passing, while NorthEast United continued to play a high line, compressing the space between midfield and attack.
Following this a stalemate continued, wherein both the sides failed to create clear goal scoring opportunities, even though Mumbai City constantly marshaled the final third of NorthEast United.
Complacent infront of Goal, A Mumbai side which thrashed FC Pune City 5-0, looked highly off-color, with ideas to create, constantly eluding the attacking trio of Mumbai.
Meanwhile, NorthEast United, solid and compact, were highly organised and did justice to Ricki Herbert’s comments in the post match press conference. However, the side constantly relied on counter attacks, and chances apart from a Castro curler which flew inches wide of the goal, were rare.
At Half-time the scores remained goal-less, with neither side able to edge their counterparts, in a tactical game.
The introduction of Freddie Ljungberg, inplace of Andre Moritz, was made to rejuvenate the complacent Mumbai attack, which faultered in front of goal.
NorthEast United started the second half on a high, dominating Mumbai, as the hosts posed threats via their counter attacks, relied on the speed of Nadong Bhutia and acumen of Ljungberg.
With Koke dropping deep into midfield and pulling strings, NorthEast United were rewarded for this tactical switch, as a beautiful Koke through ball, found Mtonga, who stabbed the ball home, beating Subrata Paul.
With the goal, stunning the hosts, the visitors dropped deep and invited pressure. NorthEast United committed men behind the ball, and were tough to break down, even though Mumbai City enjoyed larger parts of possession in NorthEast’s final third.
Minutes later, Freddie Ljungberg’s romantic home debut was cut short, as a heavy tackle from the NorthEast Defense jolted and resurfaced Freddie’s hamstring injury back.
With Freddie off, Mumbai played with 10men, as all three substitutions were already used, by the Peter Reid managed side.
To add to their increasing tally of woes, Cmvos was sent off, after a thumping tackle on James Keene, which saw a second yellow, dropping the hosts to 9 men.
With 9men on the field, NorthEast comfortably enjoyed possession and safeguarded their points, rarely committing men forward. A game which featured different stories in different halves, saw the first rarely enjoying, whilst the second providing every drama possible. Climax, coming in the form of a Felipe de Castro finish, which cemented three points for the visitors, giving them an easy two goal lead.
The Tie concluded with the Underdogs winning 2-0, whilst Mumbai succumbed to their first defeat at home. With these three points, NorthEast United uplift themselves to a second spot.