Mumbai City FC & FC Goa share points in ISL

Insight Online News

Mumbai, Feb 29 : Mumbai City FC played a 1-1 draw against FC Goa here at the Mumbai Football Arena (MFA) in the Indian Super League (ISL) match on Wednesday night as the Islanders equaled league leaders Odisha FC (32) in the points table.

However, the Petr Kratky-coached side continues to be in the second spot in the standings as the Juggernauts (14) boast of a marginally superior goal difference than the defending League Winners Shield holders (13).

The West Coast Derby has often produced fireworks, but FC Goa has not won against Mumbai City FC in the ISL in over four years. They entered this clash chasing their first win in front of the Islanders in nine ISL fixtures between the two teams, and they were dealt an early challenge for the same as Iker Guarrotxena tested Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem early on with a powerful, curling free-kick that the goalkeeper managed to palm away to keep scores level.

The Spaniard seemed driven to make a difference against his former team, earning that free-kick with a piercing run drilling through the FC Goa defence right from the centre, before being fouled just outside the box.

Similarly, former Mumbai City FC midfielder Rowllin Borges, who had scored the decisive penalty to take the Islanders to the final of the 2020-21 season of the competition by beating FC Goa in the semi-final, came touchingly close to breaking the deadlock with a headed effort in the 24th minute of the game.

Borges’ shot deflected off the crossbar, and the two teams couldn’t get a goal to their name even until the half-time break.

The Islanders drew the first blood soon in the second half though, with a newly rejuvenated Vikram Pratap Singh putting the home team ahead by tapping in a cross by Bipin Singh in the 46th minute.

Bipin had made an instant impact by bagging a brace after coming off the bench away from home against Chennaiyin FC, and he was influential tonight too, with his cross outmaneuvering the entire FC Goa defence to land at Vikram’s feet on the far post on the left side.

The attacker hammered the ball in, but his counterpart Mohammad Yasir ensured that the Gaurs didn’t succumb to their fourth straight loss in a row.

Fifteen minutes later, Spanish striker laid the ball in the path of Yasir on the inside channel of the left flank, and the attacking midfielder, who joined the team in January from Hyderabad FC, demonstrated tremendous confidence to take on Rahul Bheke and drill the ball into the back of the net from distance with his left foot.

Bheke, making his 50th start for the Islanders, had no answers to a highly upbeat Yasir, who netted in his second consecutive game to pull the visitors back in the game.

Substitute Borja Herrera produced a similarly impeccable outside-of-the-box effort late in the added time of the second half, but a fully outstretched Phurba Lachenpa dived into action to prevent the midfielder from notching a dramatic late winner.

Mumbai City FC will play their next match against Punjab FC on March 2, whereas FC Goa will clash with East Bengal FC for their forthcoming fixture on March 6.

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