Ranbir Kapoor Co-owned Mumbai City FC climbed upto second spot courtesy a 5-1 hammering of NorthEast United FC

Mumbai City FC forward Sunil Chhetri was on inspired form as Mumbai City thrashed five goals past a hapless NorthEast United FC. Sunil Chhetria s hattrick settled the match in favour of Mumbai City as the Islanders went upto second spot the Hero Indian Super League standings.

The match started with both team trying to measure up their opponent, but the first goal broke the goalscoring floodgates as people were treated to exciting end to end match.

Mumbai City FC made two changes from their previous match as Francis Bertin lined up besides Cristian Bustos while Gabriel Fernandes made way for Subhas Singh. Mumbai City had also allowed Selim Benachour to linkup with his family in Tunisia after his dad had passed away and as a result he was missing from the lineup.

NorthEast United made as many as four changes to their lineup as they lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation but the change proved to be futile with the defence leaking goals like a broken tap. The Highlanders, on the 11th minute, had the first chance of the match after Simaoa s through ball found Boithang Haokip in the box, who unleashed a powerful shot forcing a save from Subrata Paul but Nico Velez couldna t keep the rebound on the target. Mumbai City FC responded with a attack of their own as Rehensh was forced to tip the ball for a corner after Sony Norde played a beautiful one-two with Sunil Chhetri.

NorthEast United FC, who made two quick mistakes in a matter of minutes, were duly punished by Mumbai City FC. Reagan Singh was the initial culprit after his weak backpass was chased down by Sunil Chhetri , who released it wide for Subhas Singh. Carlos Lopez was the second culprit, when he used his hand to stop Singha s cross. The referee consulted with the linesman and awarded the penalty in favour of Mumbai City FC. Chhetri dispatched the penalty with some style, a Panenka to be exact, with Rehenesh already committed to the left

NorthEast United FC produced a quick response as a through ball found the menacing Boithang but whose cut back was blocked by Mumbai City defender Pavel Cmovs, with an eager Nico Velez lurking behind. It was NorthEast United FCa s turn on the 29th minute to be awarded a freekick for handball. Boithang, well known in Indian football circuits for his set-pieces abilities, expertly put the ball in the back of the net directly from the freekick, with Lopez making amends by intelligently blocking Subrata Paula s line of sight.

With game tied, Cmovs had glorious opportunity on the 38th minute to change scoreline but could only strike the crossbar with his header. The Islanders didna t have to wait for much longer as Sunil broke the deadlock to give Mumbai City FC the lead once again on the 40th minute. Sunil and Sony, who have formed a delightful partnership, combined beautifully to leaving acre of space for Sony. The Haitian took his time to deliver a cross deep in the box for the awaiting Subhas Singh who headed it beautifully in the path of the Indian national team captain Sunil Chhetri, who made no mistake to direct it goalwards. The score line remained the same but none had anticipated the upcoming goalfest that waiting for the Highlanders in the second half.

The Highlanders may feel hard done when the referee award a second penalty in favour of Mumbai City FC on the 48th minute with the ball looked to have struck Andre Bikeya s shoulder. Mumbai City and Sunil Chhetri, though, had no complaints as he dispatched the penalty to score his third goal of the match. NEUFC goalkeeper TP Rehenesh came close to saving the penalty by guessing the correct direction, but the power of the strike saw it through for Sunil.

The substitutions of Mumbai City FC worked like charm, as they helped the Islanders gain control of the game. Juan Aquileraa s peach of a through ball on the 51st minute set Sony Norde past the defence for a one on one situation. Sony finally put an end to his goal scoring drought, as he faked his shot to put Rehenesh off-balance before slotting it aplomb.

Sunil, who looked like a man on a mission, had almost two chances to score his fourth goal with Rehenesh managing to save on both occasions. The first chance came on the 57th minute when Fredric Piquoinee set Chhetri free but Rehenesh could only muster a touch to deflect the ball to the crossbar. The second chance came with almost on the 85th minute with Rehenesh somehow managing to get his leg to the shot to deflect it for a corner.

Mumbai City went on to extend their lead from the resulting corner, as Sony found an unmarked Bertin inside the NorthEast United FC penalty box, who headed it past the onrushing Rehenesh then wheeling off to celebrate like a flying bird. The result means Mumbai City has flown up the standings like the bird just like Bertin was celebrating after the fifth goal.

Image Courtesy: ISL Media

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