Mumbai City FC beat table-toppers FC Goa 2-0 at home
Goals in either half from Sunil Chhetri and Frederic Piquionne were enough to see Mumbai City FC record their second successive win of Hero Indian Super League 2015 at the DY Patil in Navi Mumbai in front a fanatic home support of 23,043.
The first effort of the game was from the visitors when Narayan Das fired wide after a speculative shot from outside the box. Leo Moura also shot over the bar for the Gaurs moments later. They almost took the lead in the ninth minute, but Raju Gaekwad’s flick from a corner was headed wide by Victorino Fernandes who was making his first start of the season for Goa.
Mumbai City FC’s first threatening moment came in the 13th minute. Sony Norde’s deflected cross fizzed across the FC Goa penalty box before going out of play inches away from the far post. The home side started growing in confidence as the game went on.
The break-through came in the 33rd minute courtesy of a brilliantly taken Chhetri penalty after the referee adjudged that Piquionne had unfairly been brought down in the box. Chhetri confidently stepped up and did the rest, making it three in three.
He could have made it four in three minutes later but for a sensational save from FC Goa’s keeper. Chhetri was having a major influence on the game by this stage and minutes later he played in Piquionne who was one-on-one with the Gaurs keeper. FC Goa’s goalie Laxmikant Kattimani stood firm once again and kept the scoreline at 1-0 at the break.
The second half started with a bang. Piquionne, this time made no mistake and headed in a perfectly delivered cross from the left past Kattimani in the 48th minute to make it 2-0 for the hosts. It was the 50th goal of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2015.
FC Goa should have pulled one back near the hour mark. Fernandes was played through on goal with just the keeper left to beat. His shot failed to meet the target though, after an on-rushing Subrata Paul did just enough to put off Fernandes. As it turned out Paul seemed to have Fernandes’ number, denying him once again in the 66th minute by diving low to his right.
Paul looked in inspired form for Mumbai and was called into action a minute later, making another spectacular save from Moura this time round as the Gaurs pushed on in search of salvaging something from the game. FC Goa head coach, Zico rang in the changes and brought on Mandar Rao Dessai, Joffre and Romeo Fernandes hoping to turn things around. Mumbai City FC, however, were in no mood to let their advantage slip as marquee player-cum-coach Nicolas Anelka decided to come on himself and see the remainder of the match out.
The change almost paid dividends in the 83rd minute for the Frenchman. Anelka cut in expertly from the left leaving his marker for dead but his shot was blocked by the Goan defence. This would prove to be the last meaningful action of the game allowing Mumbai City FC to make it back-to-back wins in the space of four days.
Club Award: Mumbai City FC
Swift Moment of the Match: Laxmikant Kattimani (FC Goa) (Watch here)
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Sony Norde (Mumbai City FC)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Gabriel Fernandes (Mumbai City FC)
Hero of the Match: Sunil Chhetri (Mumbai City FC) (Watch here)