The Indian Super League (ISL) witnessed a captivating clash between Mumbai City and NorthEast United at the Mumbai Arena, on Friday, in which the hosts emerged 1-0 winners in a tight affair with Diego Carlos (44') netting the crucial goal.
Jorge Costa's side went into the tie within a shot of the top four as Moudou Sougou returned to the tie while Valpuia and Mohammed Rafique slotted in defense.
On the other hand, NorthEast United coach Robert Jarni made four changes to bring in Wayne Vaz, Federico Gallego, Jose Leudo and Provat Lakra.
Reagan Singh crossed an absolute peach into Mumbai's 18-yard box in the 15th minute, only for everyone in front of Amrinder Singh's goal to completely miss it.
Nearing the half-hour mark, Rowllin Borges fluffed a perfectly setup shot but for it to fall kindly to Sougou, who in turn smashed the right hand post of Subashish Roychowdhury.
Somewhat against the run of play, Mumbai finally broke the deadlock before half-time. Mohamed Larbi's delivery from the left flank wasn't headed out convincingly enough by Leudo as Carlos latched on to the ball before he shimmied it onto his left foot to bury through a melee in the box and past Roychowdhury in goal.
A chance to make it 2-0 in the 62nd minute when Simon Lundevall was dispossessed on the edge of the Mumbai box, a swift counter saw Sougou in acres of free space. The Senegalese forward charged into the box and unleashed a part-shot, part-low driven cross that evaded Roychodhury's far post as well as the stretching Amine Chermiti.
At the other end, Lundevall broke free on the left from a NorthEast United counter-attack. The attacker however was only able to cut in and unleash a tame shot into Amrinder's grateful arms.
The away side should've had their leveller when some good play down the right saw Gallego angle a cross for Keogh. The final ball however was aimed straight at Amrinder. A passive second half saw a dearth of opportunities for both sides.
With the clock ticking down, Northeast United showcased quick passing moves, with Gallego spearing a shot over the crossbar after being setup by Keogh on the edge of the box.
To add insult to injury, Reagan Singh, who had been booked for foul just minutes earlier flew into a tackle on Carlos to be booked again.
The referee brought proceedings to a close as the Mumbai faithfuls celebrated a well deserved win, pushing them to fourth in the table, while NorthEast United remained stuck in ninth.