Mumbai City outclassed East Bengal in their third match of the Indian Super League (ISL) season on Tuesday at the GMS Stadium, Bambolim.
Adam Le Fondre scored a brace (20′, 48) and Hernan Santana (58′) was on target as the Islanders cruised past the Kolkata giants.
Sergio Lobera made four changes in the Mumbai lineup which defeated FC Goa 1-0 in their last match. Mohammed Rakip, Bipin Singh, Ahmed Jahouh and Vignesh D, replaced Amay Ranawade, Sarthak Golui, CY Goddard and Farukh Choudhary.
Robbie Fowler, on the other hand, replaced two players from the East Bengal lineup from the Kolkata derby as Loken Meitei and Rana Gharami made way for Mohammad Irshad and Wahengbang Angousana.
The Red and Golds received an early blow when skipper and central defender Danny Fox had to leave the pitch after a clash with Adam Le Fondre in the air. Fowler brought in central midfielder Mohammed Rafique and tweaked the formation from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3.
Mumbai were in control of the game right from the off and commanded proceedings. They got their first chance to score in the ninth minute when Mandar Rao Dessai took advantage of Surchandra’s mistake on the right side of the box and found Le Fondre who set it up for Hugo Boumous to fire but thanks to a quality save from Debjit Majumder Boumous failed to break the deadlock.
The Islanders finally scored the opening goal in the 20th minute from an excellent counter-attack. Rowllin Borges sent a long ball for Boumous and who first beat Surchandra in pace and then went past Irshad inside the box before squaring the ball for Le Fondre who converted a routine tap-in.
The Red and Golds never looked comfortable with the ball throughout the first half and their backline was extremely shaky which allowed Mumbai to constantly pose threat on them.
Mumbai picked up things from where they had left in the first half and continued with their dominance. They scored the second goal in the 48th minute of the match from a penalty.
Boumous followed through ball down the middle from Jahouh and entered the box but before he could pull the trigger, Majumder came out of his line and committed a foul resulting in the penalty. Adam Le Fondre converted his brace from the spot-kick.
The Islanders piled on more misery on the Red and Golds as they scored the third goal in the 58th minute. Ahmed Jahouh’s out-swinging free-kick was kept in play by Boumous and Hernan Santana sent the ball in with a quality volley.
Mumbai climbed to the top of the league table with six points from three games while East Bengal languished at the rock bottom position without registering a point.
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