Mumbai City extended their unbeaten run to five matches with the 4-2 thrashing of Delhi Dynamos at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday.
The victory, their fourth in five matches following the goalless draw against ATK, helped Mumbai jump to fourth with 17 points after nine games, while Delhi after facing their sixth defeat in 10 matches continue to linger at the bottom place, still winless and with four draws.
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Delhi started well and were put on the front when Souvik Chakraborty redirected a Lallianzuala Chhangte cross into his own net just three minutes into the encounter. But a second-half resurgence saw the Islanders level the scores just four minutes after the break. They were then repaid by Delhi, whose centre-back Marti Crespi scored an own-goal.
Three minutes later, Delhi were back on the match with Gianni Zuiverloon heading home from a set-piece. But Mumbai would eventually have the last laugh, as substitute Raynier Fernandes and Paulo Machado netted two more to clinch all three points for the visiting team.
Earlier, returning into the playing XI, Chakraborty had the worst possible start when he turned a Chhangte cross from the left into his own net. It seemed like the early goal had spurred Delhi on with the young Chhangte and Nanda Kumar bursting-out across both the channels with blistering pace to trouble the Mumbai defensive line.
The youngsters nearly combined for another Delhi goal in the ninth minute but Kumar failed to hit the target from an unmarked position having precisely controlled a long ball from the other flank.
Such was Delhi’s control over the match that Mumbai’s opening chance on the night came near the half-hour mark when Rafael Bastos tested Albino Gomes with a long ranger.
But the visitors broke through chains in the second half leading to Delhi skipper Pritam Kotal conceding a penalty after being outplayed inside the box. Bastos, who created Mumbai’s only chance in the first 45 minutes, let out another goalbound shot that struck Kotal’s outstretched arms.
The Brazilian stood up and converted to bring Mumbai back into the contest – in which they were outplayed for most of the first half.
But Delhi’s continuous struggle – the north-Indian outfit together with Pune City have scored the lowest number of goals – meant that despite their breathtaking first half, the game was still open for Mumbai to pounce on.
The visitors were presented with the route by Delhi, who had centre-back Crespi heading back a Bastos flick from a short corner into his own net to put Mumbai on the lead.
Almost immediately his partner in defence corrected the mistake by heading home a Rene Milehic free-kick. But the floodgates had already opened and Mumbai had already sniffed a possible comeback.
Five minutes after Zuiverloon had levelled the scores for Delhi, Raynier put Mumbai 3-2 ahead. The 22-year-old substitute repaid the faith with a first-time finish to Machado’s cut-back inside the box.
Aiming for their first home win, Josep Gombau immediately threw on Andrija Kaluderovic into the mix but with 10 minutes reaming it was the Islanders, who found the net for the fourth time.
Portuguese Machado tapped-in to an Arnold Issoko pass after a quick counter-attack had split Delhi apart.
The hosts had an opportunity to pull one back in the dying minutes but Subhasish Bose made a goalline clearance to deny Kaluderovic a goal and Delhi a point.