Mumbai edge 10-men Goa in seven-goal thriller

Mumbai City FC registered a narrow 4-3 win against FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Sunday, in one of the most exhilarating encounters of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18. Ferran Corominas’ brace and Manuel Lanzarote’s strike accounted for the host’s goals, while Everton Santos, Achille Emana, Thiago Santos and Balwant Singh struck for the visitors to bag maximum points. Goa also played most of the second half with 10 men after Seriton Fernandes got sent off for picking up two yellow cards.

The Gaurs started with the charge by pressing the final third, while the Islanders did their best to soak up the early pressure. However, even after all of Goa’s possession, Mumbai nearly took the lead in the 18th minute. Thiago Santos received a pass inside the box and turned to get the shot away, but only an effective block from the defence kept the ball from going in.

The 28th minute saw the first shot on target when Balwant Singh tried an ambitious first-time volley from a pass. Unfortunately, he caught the ball on his shin, which allowed Goa’s custodian Laxmikant Kattimani to gather.

Goa though, finally found the breakthrough four minutes after the half-hour mark. Mandar Rao Dessai’s shot was blocked by Mumbai keeper Amrinder Singh, but Corominas was at hand to turn in the rebound. However, Mumbai responded immediately as they equalised a couple of minutes later. Thiago struck a shot from the edge of the box and the ball looked to be going off target. But it took a deflection off Everton and nestled into the net.

Just on the stroke of half-time, the hosts restored their lead. Dessai made most of a miscommunication between Sanju Pradhan and Amrinder to creep in and put in a cross across the face of goal, and Lanzarote was at hand to simply tap the ball into the net. That brought an end to the first half, as Goa went into the break with the 2 – 1 lead.

Immediately after the restart, the Gaurs almost found a third. Corominas fed a lovely through-ball to Dessai, who took a touch to set himself on goal, but his shot was saved by Amrinder’s legs. Goa then created problems for themselves as their defender Seriton picked up a second yellow card just three minutes into the half, and was given the marching orders.

However, they came ever so close to getting a third in the 52nd minute when Corominas fashioned a delightful curling effort that was prevented from going into the top corner by a world-class save from Amrinder at full stretch. This save proved pivotal as a couple of minutes later, Mumbai equalised. Mohamed Ali caught Everton with a late sliding challenge inside the box, prompting the referee to point to the spot. Emana stepped up and sent Kattimani the wrong way to score from the resulting penalty.

Thereafter, Mumbai had a good a chance to go ahead in the 68th minute. Balwant fed the ball to Thiago, who checked back and took a shot which crept just wide of the target. But there was no denying the Brazilian three minutes later. Balwant’s shot was pushed away by Kattimani and the rebound came straight to Thiago, who made no mistake in tucking the ball into the net.

But twelve minutes from time, Goa got back on level terms. Ahmed Jahouh put Corominas through on goal with a lovely pass and the Spaniard came up with a lovely chip over the out-rushing Amrinder to score. That was, however, not the end of entertainment, as five minutes from time, the Islanders went ahead again. Thiago’s shot came off Kattimani, and Balwant slid in to score his team’s fourth, which eventually proved to be the winner and the last piece of real action from an enthralling match at Goa.

MATCH AWARDS

Club Award: Mumbai City FC

Swift Moment of the Match: Amrinder Singh

DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Thiago Santos

Amul Fittest Player: Ferran Corominas

Emerging Player: Brandon Fernandes

Hero of the Match: Thiago Santos

Watch the match highlights here:

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