Oh, the drama!
The Islanders have had a thing or two to do with some late spectacles this season and thanks to Bidyananda Singh’s stoppage-time strike, Jorge Costa’s side continue their onslaught in the hunt for a playoff spot!
With two games to go in the regular league stage, Mumbai City FC makes the trip to our rivals on the south of the border FC Goa in a crunch tie. The Islanders will be in action here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa tomorrow at 7.30pm.
The Islanders made it three home wins in a row last week after they left it late in their pursuit of three points against Jamshedpur FC at the Arena. Sourav Das’ clumsy challenge on Farukh Choudhary inside the box allowed Noe Acosta to convert from the spot and give the visitors a lead-in as early as the 4th minute, meaning the Islanders had to do it the hard way. An inspired second-half performance saw Amine Chermiti power in a header on the 60th minute and Bidyananda Singh let fly a 20-yard strike in the 92nd minute to give Jorge Costa’s side all three points.
With spirits on a high, the Islanders arrive in Goa to face an opposition against whom they haven’t had very many pleasant memories. The Gaurs have already qualified for the playoffs last week, but took the entire Indian football circle by surprise when they announced the sacking of head coach Sergio Lobera and his staff – a man who can be credited with putting FC Goa on the pedestal they are now at.
Now led by interim coach Clifford Miranda and technical director Derrick Pereira, the Gaurs are in the hunt for the top spot in the league stage and a subsequent AFC Champions League berth that comes along. A comfortable 4-1 win over lowly Hyderabad FC last week kicked off life after Lobera for the Gaurs and with both sides having the considerable motivation to fight for a result, tomorrow’s clash promises to be a mammoth contest
Form Guide (Last Five Games)
FC Goa: W-L-W-W-W
Mumbai City FC: L-L-W-D-W
Modou Sougou returns from suspension for the Islanders but missing out on action is Amine Chermiti who picked up his fourth yellow against Jamshedpur FC.
For the Clifford Miranda-led FC Goa, Edu Bedia returns from suspension amongst a fully available squad for the interim coach.
Who Said What:
Jorge Costa: Tomorrow we have one team that's already made it to the semifinals but is fighting to top the league stage against a team that's fighting to finish in the top 4. So both the teams have the pressure to get a result.
Pranjal Bhumij: It will be an even contest with FC Goa. Both sides have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. You can’t predict what the result will be on a particular day.
Mohammed Rafique: The spirits are high in the dressing room at the moment. We need to make the most of it. A good result in Goa helps our bid for the semi-finals.
Where to watch it
The game will kick off at 7.30pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC
8 Feb: ATK 3-1 Odisha FC (Krishna 49’, 60’, 63’ Onwu 67’)
9 Feb: Chennaiyin FC 0-0 Bengaluru
10 Feb: NorthEast United FC 3-3 Jamshedpur FC (Gallego 5’, Redeem 77’, Leudo 88’ Grande 45’, Acosta 82’, Memo 85’)
Fixtures coming up:
12 Feb: FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa 7.30pm)
13 Feb: Hyderabad FC vs Jamshedpur FC (G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium, Hyderabad 7.30pm)
14 Feb: Odisha FC vs NorthEast United FC (Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar 7.30pm)