MUMBAI: Brazilian midfielder Andre Moritz ran the show as Mumbai City FC got their Indian Super League campaign well and truly back on track demolishing a hapless FC Pune City 5-0 at D Y Patil Stadium on Saturday.
The former Bolton Wanderers man pulled the strings for the home side and grabbed his chances with aplomb as his hat-trick (12th, 27th and 71st) and neat finishes from the hardworking Singam Subash Singh (37th) and Johan Letzelter (85th) stamped their authority over Pune.
Mumbai’s opener came early in the match, an end product of a magnificent piece of counterattacking football which was capped off by Moritz with a fitting finish sending the Mumbaikars, who came in numbers, into raptures.
Bringing a clearance under his control, Lalrindika Ralte showed great vision to shift the ball to the right flank where Moritz evaded Andres Ramirez, first of Pune’s three-man backline, before planting the ball past Italian goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi with a neat left-footer.
World Cup winner David Trezeguet could have levelled the score for Pune a few minutes later with an overhead kick, but the crossbar came to Mumbai’s rescue and much to the Frenchman’s dismay.
But, marking or the lack that, undid the visitors for a second time quarter of an hour later as Ralte’s corner to the near post left Moritz needing just the simplest of touches to double Mumbai City’s advantage.
Subash had the time to score Mumbai’s third before the break for half-time after being released by Stohanzl and beating Belardi at his near post. After the break, Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg was handed his Mumbai City debut by Peter Reid giving the crowd more reasons to cheer.
Moritz departed with a standing ovation in the 81st minute but not before claiming ISL’s first ever treble after forcing further errors from the Pune defenders. The rout was completed in the 85th minute as left back Letzelter found himself inside the box to turn in a Nadong Bhutia cross.
A commanding home display proves this Mumbai side are a force to reckon with even without their star players former Chelsea and Real Madrid star Nicolas Anelka and captain Syed Rahim Nabi, while Pune coach Franco Colomba will have plenty to worry about before his team’s next outing against FC Goa.