Mumbai edge Goa 2-1 to grab first victory of the season
Mumbai City FC got their campaign up and running with a narrow 2-1 win over FC Goa at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday. Everton Santos made the most of a lapse by Laxmikant Kattimani to open the scoring, while Manuel Arana came up with the equaliser for the Gaurs four minutes before Thiago Santos scored the winner for the Islanders.
The home team took the attack to the opposition from the word go. Balwant Singh especially threatened the defence time and again with his speed and timely runs, keeping the defenders on their toes. However, as the game progressed, the teams evened out, and few chances were created.
The break almost came in the 24th minute for Mumbai, and it was Goa’s right back Seriton Fernandes who nearly scored an own goal. He tried to poke away Santos’ dangerous cross, but ended up hitting the post with his effort.
Mumbai then should have taken the lead in the 31st minute. Balwant was sent through on goal by Achille Emana, but a heavy first touch made it a tight angle for him to score from as his weak shot evaded the target.
However, it was Goa who had the best chance of the half in the second minute of added time. Ahmed Jahouh weaved into the box, and got his shot away which was blocked by Gerson Vieira. The ball came to Corominas, who drew a point-blank save from keeper Amrinder Singh.
The half, which started slow, ended on a high. Nonetheless, it remained goalless as the teams went into the break. Two minutes into the second half, and Balwant once again found himself in on goal with space to shoot. But while his shot was on target this time, Goa custodian Kattimani had no trouble in dealing with it.
Goa, not to be outdone, came up with an even better opportunity in the 52nd minute. Manuel Lanzarote came up with a delightful chip from the left, which beat the goalkeeper, but ended up hitting the post again before rolling away to safety.
The home team finally broke the deadlock a minute before the hour mark after Kattimani received a back pass, and didn’t notice Santos closing him down from the side. The keeper’s clearance hit Santos, and resulted in the ball rolling into the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
The visitors thought that they scored the equaliser six minutes later when Corominas chipped the ball beautifully over Amrinder into the net. However, the Spaniard was adjudged to have been offside by the referee.
But Goa weren’t denied their leveler six minutes from time after the Gaurs worked a good combination to excellent effect as Corominas squared a ball to Arana from the right for the latter to lash the ball home and make it 1-1
Goa nearly got a second three minutes later, but Lanzarote’s effort from distance was met with a finger-tip save by Amrinder. Instead, it was Mumbai who got the second in the 88th minute when Thiago came in from the right flank and squeezed the ball through Kattimani’s legs to restore his team’s lead.
That was the last chance of the match as Mumbai got their first win and points of the campaign, while inflicting a first defeat of the season on Goa.
Club Award: Mumbai City FC
Moment of the match: Thiago Santos
Winning pass of the match: Ferran Corominas
Fittest player of the match: Gerson Vieira
Hero of the match: Everton Santos
Emerging Player of the Match: Abinash Ruidas