Mumbai: Mumbai City FC ended FC Pune City’s dominance in the ‘Maharashtra Derby’ of the Indian Super League at the Andheri Sports Complex with a 2-0 win here on Friday.
The clash between arch-rivals, lacked the intensity through out on a humid Mumbai evening, but two first half goals were sufficient for the hosts to earn their only third win over the Stallions in 9 meetings as well as the derby bragging rights.
The Islanders took the lead in the 25th minute when midfielder Modou Sougou slotted home a wicked rebound, a Paulo Machado cross which hit the woodwork and headed back around the six-yard box. The hosts then doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time as Rafael Bastos converted from the spot, a defensive error by Lalchhunmwia Fanai, making it easy for the referee Santosh Kumar to point to the spot.
Mumbai could have added the third goal in the stoppage time of the second half, but Lucian Goian’s penalty was saved by Pune Custodian Vishal Keith.
‘We deserved more’
“I think We deserved more than the result we have, we had chances for the goals, but could not convert,” said FC Pune City’s coach Miguel Angel Portugal after the result, as he ruined the fact that his strikers failed to trouble Mumbai keeper Amrinder Singh.
The Spanish coach was right in his analysis of the game as FC Pune City had their chance as early as 30th seconds on the clock, but Emiliano Alfaro’s header went wide of the target.
As the game progressed, Mumbai settled into the game and both side nullified each other with neither side having anything but sparse shy at goal, until Mumbai opened the account in the 25th minute, a goal coming out of nothing.
Mumbai skippers’ Paulo Machado’s cross from the left flank looked like a over-hit cross as the ball flew over Keith but dipped suddenly to hit the far post and came back around the six-yard box, wrong footing Keith, where the Senegalese midfielder Sougou put the ball into the net.
Mumbai had immediate chance to double the lead through Nkufo Arnold but his long range effort failed to trouble Keith, while their counterparts, the likes of Nikhil Poojary, Ashique Kuriyan, Diego Carlos failed to hit the target.
On the stroke of half-time, Mumbai saw their advantage doubled with Nkufo put behind Pune’s defense, as the defender charged down, he was brought down by Fanai by a sliding tackle, leaving referee no option but to point to the spot, from where Bastos made no mistake.