Notorious travellers Mumbai City FC got their campaign off to an encouraging start after they recorded a crucial 1-0 away win against Maharashtra rivals FC Pune City on Monday. Although the fans, including me, expected Diego Forlan to get on the scoresheet, FC Pune City’s staunch defending on the night denied us the opportunity to witness so. However, the mercurial Uruguayan ensured that the crowd that turned up to witness him play did not go empty handed.
Owing to his remarkable stature, the 37-year old Uruguayan immediately put the home side on the back foot with some neat passing early on in the match.
However, Pune made most of their home support as they charged forward vehemently with Tato and Izumi on several occasions and dominated the first half of the derby game. Mumbai, headed into this contest as the underdogs on account of their history of losing the opening games in the last 2 editions of the ISL.
But, amidst all the failings of the Mumbai side, there was never a moment when Forlan was seen condemning his mates for their wasteful passing, nor did he seem anxious when leading a side that produces performances which lie below his lofty standards.
Subtle and Calm, Forlan made way to midfield in the second half, thereby providing necessary support to the Mumbai midfield which comprised Costa, Vadocz and Defederico. And then came the sole defining moment which not only gave the visitors a lead in the game, but also turned out to be the real testament of Forlan’s quality. A smart cross to the Uruguayan was cushioned neatly to Defederico, who hit the back of the net with a clean left footed strike.
There were instances when shouts for joy began to be heard from the bleachers and the sidelines following the amazing combination of passes from Arata Izumi and Narayan Das, but nothing surpassed the brilliance of Forlan on the night.
Mumbai City have their next fixture lined-up against Northeast United FC on 7th October. We, thus, wait for more from this phenomenal footballer.
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