Mumbai City FC powered their way to an emphatic 5-1 win. over North East United FC, and for this convincing win, they have Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri to thank. Chhetri capped a superb display with a fine hat-trick in their Indian Super League encounter at the D Y Patil Stadium, Mumbai.
Known to be sharp in the penalty area, Chhetri, once again combined very well with Haitian Sony Norde, and compatriot Subash Singh, and scored from the penalty-spot in the 25th and 48th minutes, while volleying home from close range in-between in the 40th minute, to complete the second hat-trick of the season. Chennayin FC’s Steiven Mendoza had scored the first against FC Goa.
The triple strike took the diminutive Indian striker’s tally of goals to six – the highest so far in the league this season and included his double strike against Delhi Dynamos and a lone goal against FC Goa, both won 2-0 by Mumbai.
Then Norde finished off the match as a contest with a controlled strike in the 51st minute before fellow-Haitian team captain Frantz Bertin headed home three minutes from regulation time to complete NEU’s humiliation.
NEU got their only goal of the game, which neutralised Chhetri’s opening goal through Boithang Haokip, in the 29th minute, before playing second fiddle right till the end to the home team.
The third successive victory, all at home, propelled Mumbai to the second spot on the table. They have ten points now, two points behind leaders FC Pune City and level with FC Goa who have an inferior goal difference.
The defeat, NEU’s fourth and all suffered away from home which broke their two-game winning sequence in Guwahati, left them stranded in seventh spot, one rung above cellar outfit Kerala Blasters, with 6 points.