Chhetri scores twice as Mumbai outclass Dynamos

Chhetri scores twice as Mumbai outclass Dynamos

Star striker Sunil Chhetri finally found his goal-scoring touch and scored twice as Mumbai City FC swamped Delhi Dynamos 2-0 to notch up their maiden win in four games in the Indian Super League today.

The India football captain was fed decisively on both occasions by Haitian Sony Norde, who had an outstanding game, to score once in each half – in the 13th and 74th minutes - by showing good anticipation and opportunism at the D Y Patil Stadium.

He and his Haitian teammate showed delightful understanding up front and Norde, with his superb ball skills and speed, simply tore apart the rival defense repeatedly to steal the show without scoring goals.

The victory for Mumbai, after two losses and a draw, boosted their points tally to four and put them back in the 7th position, just above cellar outfit North East United.
Mumbai, winless in three previous games, drastically revamped its starting eleven by making five changes.

The midfield was re-jigged by bringing in Spanish duo Christian Bustos and Juan Aguilera along with Gabriel Fernandes, and the defense shored up by including Ireland's Darren O’Dea. Subash Singh was the fifth change made by the hosts.

These alterations looked to have galvanized the home team as the frontline duo of Norde and Chhetri were fed repeatedly from the midfield and kept the rival defense busy through repeated forays.

The visiting team made one change in the starting eleven by including Sehnaj Singh in midfield for injured Zodingliana Ralte. Brazilian Anderson Chicao went back to central defense to partner Anas Edathodika.

Mumbai, who had scored their only goal so far during their 1-3 loss to FC Pune City on October 5 and then failed to score in their next two games, found the mark in the 13th minute after a delightful 1-2 between Norde and Chhetri.

Chhetri, who was later booked by the referee, applied the finishing touch with a deft low shot into the left corner of the net, after his strike partner had hoodwinked three defenders to lay the pass to him, much to the delight of the small crowd of spectators.

At the other end, the Dynamos applied pressure immediately by skipper Florent Malouda who sent a defense-splitting down the middle pass only for Robin Singh to volley wide much to the team's disappointment.

Then came a sustained spell of domination by the home team with Norde especially showing splendid touch but twice his crosses into the box were not taken advantage of by teammates.

Then the Haitian, after cutting past rival defender Anas Edathodika with a body feint, toed the ball from the right inches wide of the far post.

Dynamos made a few forays into the rival half but could not breach the Mumbai defense, and in particular goalkeeper Subrata Paul who stood rock-like.

Just before half-time Brazilian Chicao's shot missed the mark narrowly to keep Mumbai in front at the half-way stage. The best effort in the first 20 minutes after half time came when a totally free Subash Singh rocked the rival cross-bar with a dipping long-range effort off a short cross by Norde, with Dynamos custodian Antonio Doblas beaten completely.

Two minutes later Norde broke free and darted into the box to collect a through ball but his angular shot was well-anticipated and blocked by Doblas.

Then the Norde-Chhetri combination was successful again in the 74th minute as the latter, after lifting the ball over the rival defence to Norde, darted forward to coolly slot home the return pass from the left byline from his Haitian strike mate.

Norde had cut past a defender after getting the high ball and put it in the Indian captain's path. Poor clearance by Edathodika, who failed to head out the chip from Chhetri, led to the goal.

There were ten bookings in all in the game which became ill-tempered from early on in the first session.

Mumbai take on FC Goa next here on October 25 while Dynamos travel to Kolkata to clash with defending champions Atletico on October 29.

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