Mumbai City continued their recent run of victories in the Indian Super League (ISL) as they scraped a 0-1 victory away at NorthEast United on Friday, ending the home team's unbeaten record.
Since the 0-5 demolition at the hands of FC Goa, Mumbai City have bounced back in style, registering their third consecutive victory.
Arnold Issoko's fourth-minute goal was the difference between the two sides as the Islanders climbed to third on the table with 13 points from seven games, the same as FC Goa and Bengaluru FC who sit above them. NorthEast United have amassed 11 points, although they have a game in hand.
Mumbai surged ahead with their first attack early from the offing, forcing a corner in the early minutes. NorthEast were unable to clear their lines as Paulo Machado delivered from the corner, giving the Portuguese midfielder another bite at the apple. Machado's first-time shot struck Issoko's chest and crossed over the goal line, despite goalkeeper Pawan Kumar's best efforts.
The hosts responded to the setback by fashioning several chances. Bartholomew Ogbeche saw a header miss the far post after he got on the end of a Redeem Tlang cross from the right flank before Federico Gallego had a chance to pull one back as they won a free-kick on the edge of the box. However, the Uruguayan's free-kick sailed over the bar with Amrinder Singh hardly troubled in goal.
Mumbai had a chance of their own when a move straight from the training ground saw Machado square the ball to Rafael Bastos from a free-kick. The Brazilian's shot went inches wide of the far post.
Mumbai had a scare when Lalthathanga Khawlring's corner caught Amrinder by surprise and the ball clipped the crossbar on its way out, one of the last notable actions from the first half.
Three minutes after the restart, Ogbeche made a brilliant run down the left and crossed for Juan Mascia. However, the Uruguayan striker couldn't turn it home.
Mumbai had a host of chances to double their lead as the half wore on. In the 50th minute, Moudou Sougou had a brilliant opportunity to score when he was played onside and only had to beat the onrushing goalkeeper. However, the Senegalese striker saw his lobbed effort miss the target, much to the disappointment of manager Jorge Costa.
Sougou missed another chance just after the hour mark. Lucian Goian's long punt found Issoko who did well to get beyond his marker and release Sougou down the left who blasted his shot over. The tale of wasted chances continued at the other end too as Ogbeche got on the end of a cross and found space to shoot but his effort went straight into the hands of Amrinder.
A mistake from Lucian Goian then allowed Ogbeche to be in a one-on-one situation with Amrinder but the Nigerian striker slammed his effort into the goalkeeper. Off the rebound, Rowllin Borges' shot sailed over the bar.
Despite a late onslaught, the visitors held on to their slender lead as NorthEast fell to their first defeat to the season.