The first-leg of the semi-final between both sides ended in a 2-2 draw on Friday.
Mumbai City FC’s quest to reach the finals of the Indian Super League (ISL) faces a last, major hurdle in the face of FC Goa. The two teams played out a gripping encounter only a couple of days ago, with either side refusing to concede each other even an inch. The match ended up in a 2-2 draw. With no away goals rule this time around, the previous game could very well be termed null and void.
The sides will now take on each other at the Fatorda Stadium with all to play for in the second leg of this last-four contest on Monday evening. Let us comprehensively preview the forthcoming match right below.
Playoffs are more of a matter of prestige for Sergio Lobera and his men after having already bagged the League Winners’ Shield. The Islanders marched seamlessly to finish at the top of the standings during the course of the league campaign. However, the coach has reiterated multiple times than claiming the ISL trophy is equally important for them.
One can safely assume that not even in his worst dreams would Lobera fathom bowing out of this competition in front of his former club, FC Goa. The Spaniard’s nemesis drew level with his new employers in the first-leg, but there can be only one eventual winner at the end of the day. Mumbai have momentum favouring them, but the Gaurs have proven out to be a tough nut to crack throughout the season. Regardless of his constant denial, Lobera will be ever so keen to prove a final point to FC Goa. He would hence be looking to oust the coastal club from the league and lead Mumbai City FC to their maiden ISL final appearance.
On the other hand, Goa must already be contemplating losing that coveted ACL spot to Mumbai after their former coach and a host of key players switched sides. They trailed the Islanders by a considerable nine points in the league, so Mumbai can convincingly claim to have won that round.
However, on Monday the Gaurs have their final opportunity to rub some salt on the face of their newfound rivals. Knockouts carry some unique significance, considering that teams have the opportunity to get one over their adversaries when both of them are on the brink of elimination. Juan Ferrando can always try to win back the League Winners’ Shield next year. However, he will incredibly enhance his stature in front of his employers if he manages to push this heavyweight Mumbai side out of the competition.
This match promises to be an incredible blockbuster!
Brandon Fernandes, Seriton Fernandes and Princeton Rebello could miss the game for FC Goa with their respective injuries. Alberto Noguera will be back from his suspension too.
Amey Ranawade has served his one-match ban and will return to the lineup for Mumbai City FC.
The two teams have faced each other 17 times in the league previously. Goa has won seven encounters whereas the Islanders have emerged victorious in five games. Also, the rest of the five matches have resulted in a draw.
As you all know, their most recent clash happened on Friday, in the first leg of the semi-finals.
Mumbai City FC: Amrinder (GK); Ranawade, Fall, Santana, Vignesh; Jahouh, Borges; Raynier, Boumous, Bipin; Le Fondre.
FC Goa: Dheeraj (GK); Leander, Adil, Donachie, Saviour; Edu, Martins; Romario, Noguera, Ortiz; Angulo.
Men To Watch
Mourtada Fall (Mumbai City FC)
Mourtada Fall has been Mumbai’s success hack both at the back and on the front in recent games. The Senegalese centre-half has been rock-solid as always defensively, putting in key tackles, making vital clearances to always keep the opposition at bay. He has made 2.4 tackles and 6.15 clearances per game in his 20 appearances in the ongoing campaign.
Additionally, the towering defender has also emerged as an instrumental goal-scoring threat from set-pieces. Ahmed Jahouh has assisted them once each in both of Mumbai’s last two matches. The 33-year-old helped Mumbai level the scores at the hour-mark in the previous game and will again be targeting Goa’s weakness at defending from dead-ball situations in Monday’s game.
Jorge Ortiz (FC Goa)
Jorge Ortiz, the dynamic Spanish winger, ran riot from the left flank against Mumbai on Friday. The livewire regularly took on Mandar Rao Dessai who was playing out of position at right-back, and made his way near the penalty box to create goal-scoring opportunities for the Gaurs. The 28-year-old won the spot-kick that Igor Angulo converted to take the lead for Goa and had a striking impact in the proceedings thereafter too.
The 28-year-old has the ability to seamlessly transition from defense to attack and his pace along with ball-control could be very useful in counter-attacking scenarios. He displays some laudable composure in the final third and that is visible from the six goals and a solitary assist that he has notched this season. Mumbai’s players sometimes have a knack of committing unnecessary fouls and Ortiz and can probably force them into making such errors and perhaps even gain a man’s advantage for his team.
Did You Know?
- Mumbai City FC have conceded 50 per cent of their goals from set-pieces this season.
- Mourtada Fall has scored 13 goals in his 60 ISL appearances from 2018-19 onwards. Being a centre-back, he is placed 19th in the list of all-time top-scorers in the league’s history.
- Alberto Noguera (8) and Hugo Boumous (7), the top assist-makers this season, will face off each other in the coming contest.
The match between Mumbai City FC and FC Goa is set to be telecast live on Star Sports 1 SD & HD, Star Sports 2 SD & HD (English), Star Sports Hindi 1 SD & HD, Star Sports 3 and several other regional languages. Live streaming of the match will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV.