Nine minutes was all it took for Dabang Mumbai to leapfrog from bottom of the…
Sumil Sudhakaran, New Delhi: Three goals each, a total of nine corners and some curious tactical changes by
one manager. Yet, what lingered on from Tuesday’s match between Delhi Dynamos and Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was the officiating. That never is comforting.
Placed second in the table before the game, Mumbai played liked they belonged there. Dynamos coach Gianluca Zambrotta’s decision to play dice with the lineup and formation too helped.
The visitors got their reward in the 33rd minute when Krisztian Vadócz ran through the centre before sliding the ball past Dynamos goalkeeper Meitie Soram. The credit for the goal however lies with the Dynamos defence, caught ball watching and letting Vadócz run through with little resistance. The lead was doubled when the Hungarian headed in off a rebound after an excellent free kick by Sony Norde.
From then on, referee Santosh Kumar and his assistants decided to be in the limelight, at first the linesman turning a blind eye as Marcelo Pereira collected a Florent Malouda through ball from an offside position before squaring it to Richard Gadze to tap in. But Zambrotta’s decision to change the formation to a five-man defence, and Souvik Chakrabarti’s unfamiliarity in playing as the third centre-back helped Norde score for Mumbai, after a superb lobbed pass by Flamengo youngster Otacilio Brito Alves.
Later in the game, the referee further confounded by rewarding a penalty to Delhi, judging Gadze was brought down unfairly. “I don’t have anything to say. I think he (referee) showed more than what I could say,” said coach Alexander Guimaraes, with a wink.
Dynamos coach Zambrotta too hinted the team was lucky. “I don’t comment on referee. That’s my philosophy. They are human, they can make mistakes.”
Refereeing errors have troubled the ISL, the league had to let go of a Mexican official Fernando Ramirez for his habit of digging into the pocket at the slightest provocation.