NorthEast United have beaten table-toppers Mumbai City 2-1 in an entertaining match at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim. An early brace from Deshorn Brown (6', 10') was good enough for Khalid Jamil's men to see off Mumbai City, even though Adam Le Fondre pulled one back late on (85'). This makes them the first team to have completed the double on the runaway league leaders.
NorthEast started the stronger, and their early dominance saw them take the lead six minutes in -- good hold up play from Brown set up Luis Machado, and his shot on goal was parried out by Amrinder Singh. The clearance, though, was weak, and it fell to Nim Dorjee on the right touchline who whipped in a superb cross, which was met expertly by Brown.
Sloppy defending four minutes later saw the ball pinball around the Mumbai box from a Machado corner -- and Brown pounced to tap in his second.
He could have had a hattrick a few moments later, but fluffled his lines after being sent through one-on-one by a superb ball from Provat Lakra.
The vast majority of the match saw Mumbai frustrated - NorthEast's energetic press unsettling their usual passing rhythms and Khassi Camara and Apuia not allowing Hugo Boumous and Ahmed Jahouh any time on the ball in the NorthEast half.
Mumbai managed to pull one back late on -- second half substitute Adam Le Fondre seizing on a loose ball in the NorthEast box to slam home a superb, instinctive, volley late on. The league leaders continued to pile on the pressure and Mehtab Singh almost got them the equaliser. A miscued shot by Le Fondre was redirected goalwards by Mehtab, only for the impressive Subhasish Roy to push it wide.
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The win - Khalid Jamil's third in three games -- means NorthEast United have jumped into the top 4, with 21 points in 14.They play FC Goa next on Feb 4. Mumbai remain top with 30 points in 14, and play Kerala Blasters next on Feb 3.