Mumbai City FC secured the ISL League Winners Shield with a stellar 5-3 victory against FC Goa away from the game. The game was delight to watch as the first half ended 3-2 while the rest of the goals came in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Des Buckingham made two changes to the starting eleven that drew against Hyderabad FC at home. Rostyn Griffiths was shifted into defence to replace Mourtada Fall as Ahmed Jahouh returned to the starting eleven. Apuia Ralte replaced Alberto Noguera in midfield. Phurba started in goal; Rostyn Griffiths partnered Mehtab Singh in central defence. They were flanked by Sanjeev Stalin and Vignesh in the full-back positions. The prodigious Apuia Ralte partnered the creative Ahmed Jahouh and the dynamic Greg Stewart. The Islanders had the prolific duo of Lallianzuala Chhangte on the right and Bipin Singh on the left wing in attack. Jorge Pereyra Diaz was leading the line for the Islanders against the Gaurs.
FC Goa started the game brilliantly as they were looking to attack the Islanders backline from the first whistle. The Gaurs took the lead in the 5th minute of the game with the first well-constructed attack of the game. Anwar Ali played a long ball into the path of Noah Sadaoui who had made a smart diagonal run behind the Islanders backline from the left wing. Noah took a great touch to get the ball under his spell,and calmly slotted the ball past Phurba to make it 1-0 for the home team at the Fatorda Stadium.
Mumbai City FC looked determined to impose themselves from the restart as they started passing the ball smoothly. In the 11th minute a long ball by Jahouh found Jorge Pereyra Diaz,who had deceived the high line of FC Goa to run into the space. After Jorge Pereyra Diaz bought the ball under his spell, he was taken out by Dheeraj who had rushed out from the FC Goa goal to put Pereyra Diaz under pressure. Dheeraj was lucky to get away with just a yellow card for his silly challenge on Diaz.
The Islanders felt that FC Goa were unnerved and kept piling on the pressure on FC Goa. In the 18th minute the Islanders were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the Guars’ box. Greg Stewart and Ahmed Jahouh were standing over the dead ball. Stewart took the freekick and placed it perfectly in the right top corner of the goal to make it 1-1 as the Islanders were back in the game as they had equalised.
Mumbai City FC had found their passing rhythm but Noah Sadaoui looked threatening every time he got on the ball. The next chance of the game came in the 26th minute for the Islanders. Greg played a smart through ball to Diaz who found himself in space behind FC Goa’s defence, the Argentine got his shot away but it was right at Dheeraj who palmed it away, but the ball landed at the feet of Bipin Singh. The Islanders record goal scorer got his shot away the first time but Dheeraj calmly caught it second time around.
In the 30th minute the next chance of the game broke the way of FC Goa. Noah received the ball on the left-wing and easily went past Sanjeev Stalin on the left flank into space. Near the box he dummied to make space for himself and put an accurate ball in towards the far post. Devendra however failed to connect with the ball as he ended in the back of the net while the ball went out for a goal-kick.
The next chance of the game came in the 40th minute of the game for Mumbai City FC. A smooth passing move by the Islanders led to the ball ending up at Greg’s feet. He played a smart ball to Chhnagte on the right wing who cut the ball back from right outside the box towards Diaz in the middle. Diaz placed the ball past Dheeraj with ease for the first time itself, the Islanders had taken the lead as the scores read 2-1 in favour of Mumbai City FC.
The Islanders lead didn't last for too long however, as FC Goa equalised from the restart in the 42nd minute. Noah Sadaoui got the ball from the restart in the centre and played an accurate ball to Brandon to make a smart move behind the Islanders backline. Brandon then composed himself and slotted the ball into the goal to make 2-2 in the first half itself.
Mumbai City FC wrestled the lead back in the 44th minute of the game. Mumbai City FC got awarded another free kick right outside the box this time towards the left side of the box. Greg Stewart placed the ball beautifully around the wall as the ball hit the post and went inside the goal. The scores read 3-2 as Stewart had scored his second goal of the game.
The first half ended soon after as despite a fast start to the initial period by FC Goa they were trailing 3-2 to Mumbai City FC going into the halftime break.
Mumbai City FC were put on the backfoot right from the restart as the Gaurs were putting them under pressure.In the 49th Brandon ran into space with the ball on the right flank and put a superb ball in. Iker Guarrotxena had muscled his way through to the front post and got a smart flick on the ball towards the goal but Phurba saved the ball brilliantly to make sure the score stays at 3-2.
Soon after Carlos Pena made the first change of the game as he brought off Edu Bedia for Hernan Santana for FC Goa in the 57th minute of the game.
In response Des Buckingham made a triple substitution in the 64th of the game.He brought off Ahmed Jahouh for Fall and Sanjeev Stalin for Rowling Borges as he tweaked his defence. Mehtab shifted into the right back slot as Fall took his place next to Rostyn at the heart of defence. Greg Stewart came off for Alberto Noguera in midfield to better control the tempo of the game.
In the 70th minute the Islanders extended their lead from a penalty. Chhangte had made his way inside the box with the ball from the right flank. He tried putting in a cross but it struck the hand of Anwar Ali and a penalty was awarded. Chhangte thrashed the ball into the right top corner from the spot kick to make it 4-2 in favour of the Islanders.
Carlos Pena then made a double change in the 72nd minute of the game. Iker Guarrotxena went off for Alvaro Vazquez and Devendra Murgoankar came off for Redeem Tlang as FC Goa looked to find a way back into the game.
Des Buckingham made his next change of the game in the 74th of the game as he brought off Chhangte for Partap Singh on the right wing.
In the 77th minute of the game Mumbai City FC scored their 5th goal of the game. Mourtada Fall rose highest at the back post to head the ball across the face of goal from a corner kick. The ball was headed into the goal by Vikram Partap Singh from Fall’s nod down to make it 5-2 for the Islanders.
In the 80th minute FC Goa made their final substitutions of the match. They brought off Ayush Dev Chhetri and Sanson Pereira for Brison Fernandes and Aibanbha Dohling respectively.
Mumbai City FC made their final change of the game in the 83rd minute of the game. Jorge Pereyra Diaz went off for Gurkirat Singh in attack.
In the 84th minute FC Goa pulled one back. Vazquez ran with the ball on the right wing and played a smart 1-2 with Brison on the right flank. After Alvaro had flicked the ball back to Brison he struck the ball beautifully past Lachenpa as the ball struck the back post and went in. The scores read 5-3 in favour of the Islanders as they were now defending a 2-goal lead for the last five minutes of the game.
Mumbai City FC were keeping the ball expertly in the last five minutes of the game to see the game out. Soon after the referee below the full-time whistle as Mumbai City FC were confirmed as the ISL League Shield Winners of 2022/23 with two games to go after defeating FC Goa 5-3 in this game.
The Islanders will take on FC Bengaluru away from home in their second last game of the season. The game will kick-off at 7.30pm IST.