FC Pune City continued their giant-killing run in ISL as they overcame an adamant Mumbai City side in the ‘Maha-derby’ with a last-minute winner. Mumbai came into the game after a lucky win against Goa last week and kept the hosts at bay for a majority of the game before Alfaro stole the show.
It’s time referees took notice of Mumbai’s dirty tactics
FC Goa and FC Pune have been one of few sides in ISL that have shown any kind of technical coherence so far, and after seeing off the former in a scrappy manner last week, Mumbai City FC looked well on their way on doing the same to their derby rivals. Their sly tactics of small pushes and shoves has worked wonders for them in past years with officials not paying it too much heed. But it’s high time the officials see through the cynical play and cautioned them early in games.
While a foul lacking malice
The visitors continued their game plan against Pune too, committing 19 fouls and seeing a yellow before they ended up conceding a penalty in the process through an unnecessary tackle. That, in a way, brought an end to Mumbai’s resolute defending as they had to go up in search of a goal during the closing stages. At the end, they ended up committing 24 fouls in this game alone and if they are not checked soon, the number could be on the rise.
Mumbai City’ strength stems from their unshakeable base
Mumbai have always been a side that has focused more often than not on defending rather than scoring. Their squad has always reflected it with an
The club decided to retain the core of their defence and it has helped them maintain some sort of continuity that is often missing in the ISL. Barring their opening game against Bengaluru FC, who counter-attacked at a
On a day, when FC Pune’s attack was largely made to feel toothless by Mumbai City FC’s unshakeable defence and rigorous fouls, the visitors’ unbelievable persistence reaped them the fruit in the last minute and Emiliano Alfaro is, largely, the man responsible for it. While their last game’s hero Marcelinho was having a frustrating day with 5 attempts and none going into the net, the Uruguayan striker stepped up to the plate when his team needed him the most.With all of Pune’s crosses being rendered ineffective by Mumbai’s central defensive duo, the hosts knew that their only chance of a break, if any, would only come on the counter. And the exact thing happened when Mumbai sent Goian in the attacking third in search for a late winner, a long ball from the back found Pune forwards running away with the goal. Though one goal was from the spot and another a simple tap-in, it was Alfaro’s patience that has been the key here. The former NorthEast United striker, unlike Marcelinho, didn’t make any futile attempts today. His attempt to hold his run saw him suffering innumerable fouls and unsuccessful runs throughout the game before he broke Mumbai’s
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