Match Report: Mumbai City FC 2-1 FC Goa
It was the perfect start at the fortress for Mumbai City FC as The Islanders clinched a 2-1 win over FC Goa in a nail-biting encounter. This was the perfect response from after last week's defeat at Bengaluru, the persistence for victory paid off with Brazilian stars, Everton Santos & Thiago Santos scoring their first ever goals in the Indian Super League.
The game started with FC Goa seeing more of the ball & our defence keeping the game in control by cutting their passes in our own half. The centre backs were at their best to deal with any danger that came in their way. The first real chance came in the 20th minute when Ferran Corominas found space behind Gerson Vieira but Lucian Goian was there to make a block & Amrinder made a comfortable save.
The Islanders got into their act soon with Balwant Singh trying to play Everton Santos through on goal & Seriton Fernandes intervening to see the ball go past his keeper & hit the upright off the goal. Although, the goal would have not counted since Achille Emana was ruled offside by the linesman.
The game increased its pace as Sehnaj Singh was booked for a foul in the middle & Lucian Goian escaping a yellow as he mistimed a rare tackle. Making his full debut today, Achille Emana took advantage of a lapse from the visitors to put Balwant one-on-one on goal but his first touch let him down. In the end, his effort rattled the side netting.
Everton Santos had a good chance to open up the scoring after intercepting a loose back pass from Manuel Arana, he got himself into the box but took time that helped Mohamed Ali block his shot & have another chance go away. In the added time of the first half, Amrinder Singh made a brilliant reflex save, almost defying all physical constraints, to deny Corominas from the six yard box & keep the score intact at half-time.
The Islanders made a change at the break with Zakeer Mundampara coming on for Raju Gaikwad. Balwant had another opportunity that he tried to put into the bottom corner but ended up shooting straight at Kattimani. At the other end, Lanzarote tried to chip Amrinder only to see his effort hit the post & the home team breathed a sigh of relief.
The game was certainly getting exciting & the Islanders team took full advantage of this as Everton Santos opened the scoring by pouncing on a sloppy error from the Goa keeper who kept the ball at his feet for too long. Everton put in a slide to block a lazy clearance & managed to get the ball into the back of the net. The goal got the home crowd going & it was an important goal in the context of the game in the 59th minute.
FC Goa had a goal ruled out for offside with Manuel Arana putting Coro through on goal with a one touch pass & he finished it well. The celebrations were cut short after seeing the linesman flag raised for offside. A much needed warning for the Islanders that this match was far from over.
With 20 minutes to go, Zakeer was replaced by Mehrajuddin Wadoo as he was stretched off the field giving another injury headache to the gaffer Alexandre Guimaraes. The experienced, Achille Emana showed his class by going past two defenders after receiving the ball from Ruidas who won the ball in the midfield, he was short on support up front & eventually saw his shot cleared away.
The Cameroonian's shift ended after he was replaced by 22 year old, Thiago Santos who came on for his ISL debut. A counter attack from FC Goa got them back on level terms, Manuel Arana played a quick pass to Coro who fed the ball back to him & he finished it perfectly by beating Amrinder Singh in goal.
Amrinder was called into action making a fabulous save by saving a left footed effort from Lanzarote & following up with two good punches in the box from the corners that followed. Everton Santos did well to keep the Islanders push ahead & it paid off, he laid the pass to Thiago Santos who got past Mohamed Ali with a couple of stepovers & score from a tight angle. The keeper failed to keep his legs closed & Thiago took full advantage of that by slotting the ball past him into the back of the net in the 88th minute.
The goal sealed a dramatic win for the Islanders with an action packed second half that had the crowd on their edge of their seats. Next up is the first Maharashtra Derby against FC Pune City on 29th November at the Balewadi Stadium.