Jamaican Deshorn Brown's scored a sensational hat-trick against defending champions Mumbai City FC during their Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match but failed to give struggling NorthEast United FC all three points on Monday. (More Football News)
The two sides settled for a 3-3 draw at Fatorda Stadium in Goa with Igor Angulo (33rd and 52nd) and Bipin Thounaojam scoring for the Islanders.
With 16 points from eight matches (five wins, one draw and two defeats), Mumbai City remained at the top of the 11-team of ISL 2021-22 points table, while the Highlanders are ninth with eight points from nine matches. They have won two, drawn two and lost five.
In a topsy-turvy match, Mumbai almost went ahead in the second minute when Ahmed Jahouh's delivery was met by Ygor Catatau. But the final attempt, a thumping header, was brilliantly saved by Mirshad Michu in NorthEast United's goal.
Mumbai bossed the initial exchanges with Cassio Gabriel and Jahouh pulling the strings in the middle and allowing goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz to witness the action from a safe distance in the first quarter.
Then Mathias Coureur header tested Nawaz.
Against the run of play, NorthEast United drew first blood with Brown taking only 29 minutes to make a statement in his return to the side.
The Jamaican forward made the most of a brilliant diagonal ball from the impressive Imran Khan to chest it down and slot home past an onrushing goalkeeper.
Stung by the setback just before the half-hour mark, Mumbai upped the ante and were rewarded soon. Bipin burst through the left flank and squared it for Angulo who tapped home from close.
Seven minutes later and five minutes to halftime, Angulo turned provider as the experienced Spaniard put an overlapping Bipin through with the latter affecting a low finish first time from a tight angle.
Mirshad was left high and dry as he let one through his near post, failing to get down in time.
At the break, Mumbai were 2-1 up with NorthEast United snapping at their heels all the way.
It was action from the off in the second period as Hernan Santana forced Nawaz into a great save three minutes into the half.
Mumbai added to their tally soon after as Angulo scored his second goal from a brilliant Ygor Catatau pass.
Mumbai's joy was short-lived as the excellent Brown got his name on the scoresheet again, peeling away from his marker and using power to smash the ball across the keeper and into the back of the net.
Mumbai continued to press hard and a drive from Bipin was saved well by Mirshad.
Then Brown completed his hat-trick, guiding Imran's shot into an empty net after Rahul Bheke failed to clear the danger. Nawaz, once again leaving his line, was guilty too.
Mathias Coureur, Angulo and Bheke blew away chances at both ends as both sides looked for the winner but the clash ended in a stalemate.