Deshorn Brown put NorthEast United FC 2-0 ahead within the first ten minutes and the team held on despite a late goal from Adam Le Fondre.
NorthEast United FC could have gone ahead in the second minute itself. Federico Gallego's free-kick wasn’t cleared properly and Benjamin Lambot was set up with a chipped pass. But he couldn’t control and take advantage of it.
The miss didn’t prove costly as the Mumbai City FC defense was caught napping by a fantastic cross from Nim Dorjee Tamang.
Former Bengaluru FC forward Deshorn Brown was alert and he produced a superb volley to slot it home and put NorthEast United FC ahead.
Brown completed his brace in just the 9th minute as he smashed the ball into the back of the net from a Federico Gallego corner-kick.
The ball diverted off Luis Machado and Brown was the quickest to react after Mumbai City FC failed to clear the set-piece properly.
After a few minutes, Bipin Singh crossed the ball to the far post to create a half-chance but Jackichand Singh couldn’t connect his header.
The in-form Brown missed an easier chance when he failed to find the target after Provat Lakra curled the ball behind Mumbai City FC’s back-line.
Just before the cooling break, Bipin produced a cross for Bartholomew Ogbeche but the Frenchman headed it wide.
The pressure almost paid off for Mumbai City FC as Ahmed Jahouh came up with a fine strike only to see Subhasish Roy Chowdhury produce a fine save.
The ball fell to Jackichand Singh following Subhasish’s save but Benjamin Lambot came up with an important block.
NorthEast United FC didn’t plan to sit back in the second half too as Lalengmawia tested Amrinder Singh from distance. Ahmed Jahouh went direct at goal from a free-kick on the left flank but Subhasish cleared it for a corner kick.
Luis Machado could have extended the lead for the Highlanders after he was delivered with a nice through ball from Gallego. However, the Portguese delayed his shot and this allowed Sarthak Golui to block his eventual strike for a corner.
Gallego delivered the following set-piece to the near post but Lambot could only find the side netting with his back-heeled attempt.
After the second water break, Hugo Boumous clipped a ball for the overlapping Vignesh Dakshinamurthy but no Mumbai City FC attacker could get to the end of his low ball.
The league leaders eventually opened their scoring as Adam Le Fondre got the better of Subhasish with a nice volley. The chance came his way after Ogbeche miscontrolled a lobbed pass from Hugo Boumous.
Fortunately for the Islanders, Le Fondre was in close vicinity to take advantage of that chance.
Le Fondre could have equalized a few minutes later but he couldn’t keep his header down after Ahmed Jahouh came up with a ball to the far post.
Mumbai City FC could have got another chance in stoppage time but Subhasish Roy denied Mehtab Singh from just a couple of yards out.
The ball fell for him after Le Fondre misdirected a shot from the right side of the box.
ISL 2020-21, MCFC vs NEUFC: Who was the Hero of the Match?
Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown bagged the ‘Hero of the Match’ award for his two goals which helped NorthEast United FC register a massive win.
Brown showed great movement and instinct to pick up his chances and dent the star-studded Mumbai City FC team.
The 30-year-old’s success also shows how good the service has been from his teammates. Brown could have very well had a hat-trick but he missed a glorious chance in the 20th minute.
However, manager Khalid Jamil would be elated with Brown’s performance as he contributed defensively too.