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Indian Super League

NorthEast United's spunk to the fore against Mumbai City FC

17:00 GMT+3 28/11/2019
NorthEast v Mumbai
The Highlanders are fast developing a reputation as a resilient outfit...

NorthEast United are one of the only two teams in the Indian Super League (ISL) who have been unbeaten after five matches. The Highlanders, under new coach Robert Jarni, have displayed a fighting spirit as they heavily bank upon their quality forwards.

They have found the back of the net in four of the five matches this season. Against Odisha FC, they scored a late goal to clinch three points. When they faced Goa, they came back from being a goal down to take the lead in the second half before leaking in an injury time equalizer. They scored at the death against Hyderabad FC as well and did well to equalize when they faced Mumbai City FC as well.

In Asamoah Gyan, Panagiotis Triadis, Martin Chaves and Maximiliano Barreiro, they have fearsome strikeforce who have the quality to hit the opposition at any given time. You may find NorthEast not creating as many scoring opportunities or build up play but the linking between their attackers is telepathic.

Of course, Jarni would be concerned in the manner in which they leaked in two goals with mistakes from Nim Dorjee Tamang. These individual errors need to be eliminated from their game if they are make it to the play-offs for the second season running.

Meanwhile, coach Jorge Costa of Mumbai City FC would hope that defender Mato Grgic is in a position to start. Having to field an all-Indian defence line hasn’t worked for Mumbai as the players keep giving away the ball at crucial junctures.

The idea to deploy all their foreign players in attacking positions too isn’t helping. It is not that the Islanders are creating chance after chance.

Another problem NorthEast have faced despite all their threat up front is their home form. They have played a lot of draws at home which should have been converted to wins in the last two seasons.

It is something they will want to change and fast.

Mumbai City, on the other hand, need a statement result one feels.