NorthEast United FC played host to Mumbai City FC in their inaugural match of the Indian Super League Season 7. The game was being billed as the match between the rich boys of the league and the team that always finishes in the bottom half.
The match got off to a fast start with NorthEast United putting in a tackle within the first few seconds of the game. Mumbai gradually took hold of the game and maintained the majority of ball possession.
The game took a twist just a couple of minutes before half-time with Ahmed Jahouh getting his marching orders for lunging in a tackle on Khassa Camara.
The second half started with the same amount of drama that the first half ended with. NorthEast United FC were awarded a penalty in the early minutes of the second half. Kwesi Appiah didn't make a mistake from the penalty spot to give NorthEast United FC the lead in the game.
The goal Appiah scored, turned out to be the only goal of the game, and it gave the Highlanders a crucial victory over the Islanders.
On that note, let us take a look at the Player Ratings of today's game.
NorthEast United FC
Subhasish Roy Choudhury - 7: The NorthEast United custodian was called into action a couple of times in the match today. He was mostly up to the task, barring a few fumbles.
Ashutosh Mehta - 8: The ex-Mohun Bagan right-back had a brilliant game today. He completely bossed the right side of the pitch in attack and defense.
Gurjinder Kumar - 6.5: Most of the Mumbai attacks came in through the side Gurjinder was defending. After CY Goddard was introduced into the game, Gurjinder faced a few problems.
Dylan Fox - 8.5: Coming from the A-League, Dylan is someone who knew Adam le Fondre very well. He used his experience very well to keep Le Fondre quiet. He put in a stellar performance during the game.
Benjamin Lambot - 8: Benjamin Lambot showed his class today with his impeccable timing and interception. He was one of the main reasons why NorthEast United won today.
Lalengmawia - 7.5: The young Mizo midfielder helped Khassa Camara in holding the NorthEast United midfield properly and also in stopping Mumbai City FC from running riot in the middle of the park.
Khassa Camara - 9: The French-Mauritanian central midfielder was the Man of the Match today and rightly so. He was brilliant right from the first tackle of the game and kept it that way throughout. He was the reason why Jahouh was shown the red card as he kept hassling the Mumbai players for 90 minutes.
Lalrempuia Fanai - 5.5: Back on the pitch after a long gap, Fanai was not able to do justice to the expectations associated with his name. He had the chance to split open the Mumbai City defense on a couple of occasions, but he failed to do so by choosing the wrong option.
Kwesi Appiah - 8: Bullied the Mumbai City defense right from the word go and also scored NorthEast United's first goal of the season from the penalty spot.
Luis Machado - 6: The Highlander faithful had a lot of hopes on the Portuguese winger, but he couldn't do justice to the hopes the fans had on him. He did, however, show glimpses of good touches and movements - something which the fans hope the team can capitalize on during the remainder of the competition.
Ninthoinganba Meetei - 5.5: His runs were more wayward and not efficient. Ninthoi failed to do anything significant with chances that came his way.
Federico Gallego - 6: Was introduced late into the game and didn't have much to do. Yet he did make it a point to link up with Camara and provide space for the forwards to run into.
Britto PM - 5.5: Came in place of Fanai and didn't have much to do offensively but he did help the defense out when required.
Imran Khan - 5: Replaced Apuia in the dying minutes of the game and had an excellent chance to make it two for NorthEast United but was wasteful.
Idrissa Sylla - 6: Was introduced into the game to kill time but he did show glimpses of his class with some brilliant touches and turns.
Mumbai City FC
Amrinder Singh - 6: Amrinder didn't have much to do today as he wasn't called into action much. He did end up conceding from the penalty spot.
Mandar Rao Dessai - 5.5: Mandar was way below par when compared to himself. He had trouble keeping the likes of Ninthoi and Ashutosh at bay, and also his forward passes lacked those pinpoint precision that is expected from him.
Mohamad Rakip - 5: Rakip also had a below-average outing as he did struggle while coping with the NorthEast United attack. He also made a few mistakes in choosing the right pass.
Sarthak Golui - 5: Sarthak faced problems dealing with Appiah and Sylla. He was also dragged out of position a couple of times which gave the NorthEast United players space to run into.
Amey Ranawade - 5: Amey didn't have much to do when he came on and tried hard to help the team in attack.
Rowllin Borges - 6: Rowllin Borges had the job of maintaining the midfield for Mumbai City FC, and he wasn't up to the task today. He was also the player who was responsible for handling the ball inside the penalty area due to which NorthEast United were awarded a penalty.
Hernan Santana - 7: Was Mumbai's best player in the field as he helped Mumbai control the tempo of the game and keep hold of the ball. He also won a lot of second balls and didn't' give much space to the NorthEast United forwards.
Hugo Boumous - 6.5: Hugo had a below-average game when compared to his stats last season. Yet he was one of the key men on the pitch for Mumbai and saw a lot of the ball and helped them maintain a lot of possession.
Raynier Fernandes - 5: Raynier was having a decent game before he was subbed off for picking up an injury.
Ahmed Jahouh - 4: Ahmed Jahouh started the game brilliantly as he controlled the game in all aspects. Till the 30th minute of the match, Mumbai City FC had a 72% ball possession, and Jahouh had the most significant role in keeping the ball. But a silly tackle just before half-time for which he was shown the red card ruined the game for him and Mumbai City FC. The team felt his absence in the latter stages of the game.
Farukh Choudhary - 6: Farukh replaced Raynier early on in the game and was very much in the place wherever the ball was. He also had an excellent attempt at goal which was blocked brilliantly by Benjamin Lambot.
CY Goddard - 6: Goddard, the Tottenham Hotspurs academy player, had an impressive half an hour of football as he troubled the NorthEast United left-back and did put in some dangerous balls into the box.
Vignesh Dakshinamurthy - 5: The young midfielder didn't have much to do and was ineffective in whatever small role he had in the game. His passing was poor today.
Bartholomew Ogbeche - 5: Ogbeche had a forgetful debut for Mumbai City FC against his former side NorthEast United FC.
Adam Le Fondre - 5: With a lot of hopes on him being one of the players of the season, Adam le Fondre had a disastrous debut in the Indian Super League. Adam had zero shots attempted throughout the game, which shows how poor he was during the match.