Mumbai City FC put on a fantastic display in front of their home fans, when they played out a thrilling 1-1 draw against FC Goa at the Mumbai Football Arena on Wednesday. The result means that Mumbai City FC have now stretched their unbeaten streak to 4 games.          

The hosts hit the ground running, as Spanish forward Iker Guarrotxena ran more than half the length of the field, right through FC Goa, before being brought down just outside the penalty box. From the resulting free-kick, the Spaniard’s curling effort was deflected away for a corner – all this within the first minute.

The Islanders settled into their rhythm very quickly, and dominated possession and the game, keeping the opposing forwards at bay. However, 15 minutes in, the visitors had a look in on goal, but Phurba Lachenpa stood tall. A little later, Alberto Noguera, Bipin Singh and Rahul Bheke almost carved open the FC Goa defence with a delightful bit of play from the right wing. 

The early dominance hadn’t yielded a goal yet for the hosts, and against the run of play, the Gaurs almost broke the deadlock, when Rowlin Borges headed it onto the crossbar. Right after, Yoell Van Nieff then rifled one in towards the top corner, but even that was saved. In the final 10-odd minutes of the first half, the likes of Guarrotxena, Jayesh Rane, Vikram Partap Singh and Bipin, asked a few questions of FC Goa’s defence, who held on, by the skin of their teeth, as the teams went into the break with the scores at 0-0.

Thirty seconds into the second half, the West Coast Brigade’s brought the roof down, as the in-form Vikram found the back of the net, when he finished off the dangerous cross from the right by Bipin. Much like the first half, the hosts quickly settled in, were threatening to double their lead.

However, at the hour-mark, FC Goa found a way through as Mohammed Yasir equalised. In the aftermath, the visitors continued to push for the second goal, but the Islanders dug deep at one end, and had the likes of Noguera driving forward with great gusto.

Mumbai City FC brought on Lallianzuala Chhangte for the final 20 minutes or so, and the forward took the attack to FC Goa from the get-go, causing multiple problems for the defenders, who were left chasing shadows on a few occasions. 

The final phase of play saw plenty of lusty tackles flying in from both sides, as both teams threw the kitchen sink in search of a winner. Chhangte drove down the wing, Guarrotxena and Noguera tried their shots, and Lachenpa stood firm as a rock under the sticks, but for Mumbai City FC it wasn’t to be a fourth win on the bounce.