Match Preview: Mumbai City FC vs FC Goa
Aaand we're back!
Football returns to the Mumbai Football Arena this Saturday with Mumbai City FC aiming to get their first three points of the season against FC Goa. The opening fixture in Bengaluru did not go as planned for head coach Alexandre Guimaraes and the Islanders, going down 2-0 to the home side courtesy two crucial gaffes by the otherwise solid Mumbai City FC defence. However, last season's table toppers will aim to get a positive result against Sergio Lobera's side.
Having won their first game against Chennaiyin FC with a scoreline of 3-2 and a dominant first half display, Saturday's visitors and 2015 finalists FC Goa have gathered good momentum heading into their second consecutive away fixture in as many games.
Where to watch it:
The game will kick off at 8pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network and Hotstar for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can find your broadcaster here. You can also follow live action on the our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
This will be the 7th time the two sides will clash with each other. Mumbai City FC have just the one win over the side from Goa while the visitors have won on two occasions and the teams have shared the spoils thrice.
Despite finishing bottom of the table last season, FC Goa were able to take 4 points out of a possible 6 from the Islanders and were one of the two teams to get all 3 points at the Mumbai Football Arena. FC Goa snatched a 1-0 victory in Mumbai with Richarlyson finding the back of the net. The teams played a frustrating goalless draw at the Fatorda with custodian Amrinder Singh pulling off a miraculous save in the final seconds of the game going one-on-one with FC Goa's Julio Cesar.
The list of players who've turned out for both sides is quite extensive. However, this season, local lad Raju Gaikwad returns to the Mumbai City roster after two seasons with FC Goa. The defender was a part of the Islanders in the inaugural season of the ISL, in 2014-15. On the other side of the pitch, midfield enforcer Pronay Halder returns to the Gaurs after spending one injury-plagued season with Mumbai City FC last year. Also facing Mumbai City will be former winger Brandon Fernandes who, just like Halder, was picked by FC Goa in the ISL Draft.
FC Goa's Pratesh Shirodkar also features in the list, having played for Mumbai City FC in the 2015-16 season of the Hero Indian Super League. Gabriel Fernandes, who now plies his trade with East Bengal in the I League, has pulled on a shirt for both Mumbai City FC and FC Goa.
Closing the first round of games was Delhi Dynamos who won 3-2 away to FC Pune City with young Indian attacker Lallianzuala Chhangte putting in a fine performance for Delhi.
Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United kicked off the second round of fixtures yesterday with the hosts running out comfortable 3-0 winners. They sit pretty on top of the table by virtue of goals scored.
The other fixtures of the weekend are:
Friday, November 24
Kerala Blasters vs Jamshedpur FC (Kochi, 8pm)
Sunday, November 26
ATK vs FC Pune City (Kolkata, 5.30pm)
Bengaluru FC vs Delhi Dynamos (Bengaluru, 8pm)