It was a Monday night to remember at the Mumbai Football Arena, as Mumbai City FC turned on the style and stormed into the Final of the Indian Super League. The Islanders won the second-leg of the semi-final 2-0, and won the tie 5-2, putting in a commanding display over 180 minutes and more. The final of the ISL will be played between Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC in Kolkata on 4th May.

From the onset, it was FC Goa who had it all to do, as they were trailing by a goal in the tie. And on cue, it was the Gaurs, who were looking to attack the Islanders in the early exchanges. However, the defensive line up of Thaer Krouma, Tiri, Rahul Bheke and Mehtab Singh held their own while Lallianzuala Chhangte and Jorge Pereyra Diaz were trying to stretch the visitors’ defence lines.

Around the 20-minute mark, Tiri almost headed home from a tight angle and a few minutes later, it was Chhangte lining it up. The Islanders were slowly cranking up the intensity, much to the joy of the home gans, who had turned up in numbers to make it a memorable Monday evening.

After the drinks break, Diaz’s reverse ball into the box had Chhangte in acres of space, and he looked to place it into the far corner, but only found the woodwork. The Islanders were moving closer to a decisive role. At the half-time break though, the teams were still locked at 0-0, and neither were willing to concede half an inch.

FC Goa started off the second half as the better of the two teams, and Mumbai were caught off-guard on a couple of occasions, and that is something the coach did not enjoy. At the hour mark, the Gaurs were still in the game but trailing, and the Islanders were starting to slowly get their passing game going.

In the first phase of the second half, Mehtab had a couple of hopeful hits on goal as well, but wasn’t successful. Mid-way through the second half, the Islanders started to control proceedings. For the next few minutes, it was all Mumbai, and the spell of pressure eventually broke through FC Goa’s resilience.

In the 69th minute, Rahul Bheke won the first header from a corner, and Diaz then bundled it in from close range, bringing the house down at the Mumbai Football Arena. Hosts, Mumbai City FC, led 1-0 on the night and had a comfortable 4-2 lead in the overall tie. And 20 minutes to survive.

Halfway through those 20 minutes, the Islanders landed a telling blow. Vikram won the ball on the left, and released Chhangte, who had most of the opposition half of the field to himself. Chhangte sprinted through after collecting Vikram’s pass, and dribbled past the keeper, to knock into an open net. Mumbai City FC led 2-0 on the night, and the home fans could not be happier. 

FC Goa gave it their all in the final minutes, but the horse had bolted, and the Islanders romped into the final.