Mumbai City FC gave in to a ruthless onslaught from Delhi Dynamos on Friday and slumped to a 4-1 defeat in the away game at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Before the start, both sides were bunched together at the bottom and desperately needed all 3 points from the 43rd match of Hero Indian Super League. Mumbai had beaten Delhi 1-0 at home in their previous meeting and Delhi wanted to return the favor to the visitors. And finally, it was Delhi, who ended the day with a thumping victory and Mumbai were left in a heap from where, it may become well-nigh impossible to come back in the reckoning. For Mumbai, the absence of Moritz, Anelka and Letzelter was a huge handicap but all the credit was stolen by Delhi who scored through Hans Mulder, Mads Junker, Gustavo dos Santos and substitute Manish Bhargava with Mumbai scoring a consolation goal through Abhishek Yadav. With yesterday’s outcome, Delhi moved up to fifth place on the table while Mumbai languished at the bottom.
Mumbai began by launching early attacks but Delhi got into the groove pretty soon. In the 12th minute, dos Santos played a lovely back-heel pass for a teammate, who smartly got past Mumbai defenders and relayed the ball to Dinis. It was a great opportunity as Dinis crossed it to Mads Junker on the far post and Junker slid it back to Dos Santos in front of the goal. But all this effort went in vain as Mumbai’s Deepak Mandal cleared Santos’ shot for a corner. For a brief while, Mumbai managed a counter attack but couldn’t hold on the possession. After 20 minutes of play, Mumbai City FC looked a bit unsettled as DD continued to keep the ball in Mumbai’s half. Mumbai had a real chance in the 25th minute, when Subhash sent a smart cross inside the box to which Sushil jumped high and connected very well but the header looped over the crossbar. Absence of Nicholas Anelka and Moritz was felt as Mumbai lacked creativity in their midfield. Although they launched a few raids in the Delhi goal area, the finishes were off target. Delhi Dynamos shot to the lead in 44th minute, when Dinis sent a low cross from the right flank and while Mumbai’s Manuel Friedrich had a chance to clear the cross, the ball passed him and got deflected off Francis to Hans Mulder and the Delhi striker lost no opportunity in smashing the ball into the net. One minute later, Delhi missed a chance to double their lead. Dos Santos got a ball in midfield and his pass to Francis was slid towards Mads Junker, who fired in. But the Mumbai goalkeeper made a gallant save to prevent Delhi from taking a 2-0 halftime lead.
After dominating the first half and taking a vital 1-0 lead, Delhi began the second half with more vigor despite Mumbai trying for the equalizer. In the 50th minute, DD made it 2-0, when Dos Santos managed a sweet through ball inside the box that found Mads Junker and Junker pushed it perfectly past Subrata Paul to shake the net. The off-guard Mumbai goalkeeper just watched in awe as the ball rolled past him. Four minutes later, it could have been 3-0 for Delhi as Francis passed the ball to Junker, who released Francis running to the goal. But the ball had too much speed and Subrata Paul came out to pouch the ball away to safety. Six minutes later, Dos Santos received a lovely pass from Francis in the 18-yard box and the striker wrote his name on the score sheet as his powerful header went to the top right corner. Trailing 3-0, Mumbai began indulging in a rough play and Jan Stohanzl earned a yellow card in 62nd minute for a rash challenge on Francis. In the 72nd minute, Mumbai brought Abhishek to replace Subhash but Delhi continued to attack. Dos Santos attempted another run from midfield in 75th minute and passed the ball to Francis near the goal but Francis’ shot went wide off the post. Santos had another opportunity in the 76th minute from a Mads Junker pass but the high speed carried the ball over the goal line. Mumbai missed a chance in the 77th minute, when Jan Stohanzl was able to find Nadong on the tip of the box but Nadong’s weak strike was chested away by a defender. Jan Stohanzl missed another chance in the 79th minute, when his left-footed shot went wide. Mumbai finally succeeded in getting a goal in 86th minute, when Abhishek received scored from a good cross sent to him by Sushil. Shooting from just out of the 6-yard box, the debutant’s first time left footer landed in the left bottom corner. In injury time, DD were able to enhance their lead to 4-1, when Steven Dias sent a cross from the right flank that was blocked by Subrata Paul but the loose ball found Manish in front. The Delhi winger easily slotted the ball inside.
It was a hurting loss for Mumbai, who now find their ISL campaign very difficult. Absence of their top stars and sloppy defending allowed Delhi to score four times and improve their standing. Mumbai go to Pune on December 3 for another away game while DD have a home game against Kolkata on December 2.