News Article

Balwant and Ruidas set up Mumbai romp as NorthEast shoot themselves in the foot, again

Written by: Debajit Sarma

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The lack of spark from their Indian contingent remains a perennial problem for the Highlanders.

“Same old s***, different day” would have been the exact same words uttered by Shawshank Redemption’s Red ( Morgan Freeman) in summing up NorthEast United’s performance on Wednesday, as the Highlanders slumped to another defeat in the Indian Super League. As in earlier games, the Highlanders created the best chances to score, but lacked the cutting edge upfront and allowed Mumbai City FC to punish them for their sloppy mistakes to lose 0-2.

Here’s how the Indian players on both sides rated.

NorthEast United

Ravi Kumar- 4.0

It was a terrible error of judgement from the stand-in NEUFC goalie, as he raced out of his box when Balwant Singh was always the favourite to get to the ball first making it easy or the striker to poke home for the first goal. Made a couple of decent saves in the 2nd half.

Nirmal Chettri- 5.5

Was caught out of position for the first goal, didn’t have to work a lot defensively. Offered very little going forward. Brought off in the 59th minute as coach De Deus prepared to throw more men forward in search of an equaliser.

Reagan Singh- 5.0

Yet another underwhelming performance from the left back, was poor on the ball most of the time and his ordinary passing hindered the flow of the game by the Highlanders.

Rowllin Borges- 4.5

It was a terrible lapse of concentration from the Goan midfielder, as he gifted away possession to the dangerous Achille Emana deep inside his half that led to the 2nd goal. Passed the ball around with 72% accuracy but struggled to impose himself on the game. For a player of such importance to the team, his recent performances are a bit worrying.

Seminlen Doungel- 3.5

Had a poor game throughout, his lack of quality in the final third quite evident. He also squandered a great chance to put the Highlanders 1-0 ahead in the 26h minute, when Marcinho’s touch fell to him kindly with the goal at his mercy, but he managed to balloon the ball wide. It was Len’s careless back-pass to Rowllin Borges that put him under undue pressure leading to the 2nd goal. Finished the game with a passing accuracy of 39% that quite highlights a bad day at office.

Northeast United FC vs Mumbai City FC highlights

Holicharan Narzary- 6.5

Had a relatively quiet first half, but came alive in the 2nd , looked the player working hard the most to get the team back into the game in spite of playing with a niggle. Performed his defensive duties well.

Substitutions

Malemngamba Meitei- 6.0

Making his first appearance for the Highlanders, the Manipur born Midfielder had an instant impact coming off the bench. After being tied up by Holicharan at the edge of the box, he brilliantly dodged a sliding Lucian Goian and got his shot away, forcing Amrinder Singh into a good save. The former NEROCA FC player looked lively in his 38-minute cameo, having a team high of 3 shots on target.

Lalrempuia Fanai- (N.A)

Not on long enough to get a rating.


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Mumbai City

Amrinder Singh- 6.0

The in-form goalie didn’t have much to do, barring one save from Malemngamba. Commanded his area well with 4 punches and 2 catches.

Davinder Singh- 6.5

The young right-back had a mostly good game, made some well- timed tackles and held off the advances of Holicharan for most of the 1st half. Had a few iffy moments in the 2nd but managed to hold on.

Raju Gaikwad- 7.0

Had an assured game at the heart of the Islanders defence, Raju rarely put a foot wrong in keeping the troika of Luiz Paez, Danilo and Marcinho at bay in tandem with Lucian Goian. He passed the ball around with a team-high 85% accuracy and made 3 important blocks.

Abinash Ruidas- 8.0

The left-back carried his good form from his previous games in delivering a flawless performance against the Highlanders. Ruidas was assured defensively and didn’t allow Seminlen any leeway along the flanks. He also went forward well, linking up well with Everton Santos.

Sanju Pradhan- 5.5

Had a quieter game comparatively, than most of his teammates, with not so flattering numbers of 56% passing accuracy and 28 touches. Didn’t trouble the opposing defence much.

Balwant Singh- 8.5

Post Match interview of Balwant Singh

Balwant brought the opportunistic striker in him to the fore as he punished the Highlanders sloppiness at the back with utter disdain by bagging a brace. The National team frontman could have taken the match ball home had he not put a free header away from close range. He was a constant menace to the Highlanders defence with his hard pressing. Was offside a lot though, 9 times to be precise, an ISL record.

Substitutions

Zakeer Mundampara- 5.0

Brought on to shore things up, got an undeserved yellow.

Mehrajuddin Wadoo- NA

Not on long enough to get a rating.

Published: Fri Dec 22, 2017 09:19 PM IST

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