FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC
FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC

ISL semi-final: FC Goa draw with Mumbai City in the first leg

  • FC Goa attacked Dessai through Saviour Gama before twinkle-toed Jorge Ortiz tested him. By the 17th minute, Dessai had been caught out thrice; the last time because of a poor pass which Alexander Jesuraj intercepted needing a tackle from Vignesh Dakshinamurthy that could have been a penalty.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:01 AM IST

It was Zico who decided that Mandar Rao Dessai would blossom as a full back. And blossom he has as left back for FC Goa and Mumbai City on most of the 112 nights he has played in the Indian Super League (ISL). For his 113th game though, Sergio Lobera slotted Dessai as right back for the suspended Amey Ranawade.

FC Goa attacked Dessai through Saviour Gama before twinkle-toed Jorge Ortiz tested him. By the 17th minute, Dessai had been caught out thrice; the last time because of a poor pass which Alexander Jesuraj intercepted needing a tackle from Vignesh Dakshinamurthy that could have been a penalty.

Two minutes later, it was. Dessai had caught Ortiz and by the 20th minute Mumbai City were trailing because Igor Angulo had successfully converted the penalty for his 14th goal in his first season outside Europe. An Athletic Bilbao product who was the highest scorer in the Polish league in 2018-19, Angulo, 37, now has as many goals as Roy Krishna who till Friday night was leading the chart.

With Ortiz having a good night and Mumbai City’s plan of accommodating Bartholomew Ogbeche and Adam le Fondre for only the fifth time this term not adding spark to the attack, FC Goa controlled the first leg of this semi-final. Yet Mumbai equalised in the 38th minute after a free-kick quickly taken by Ahmed Jahouh found Hugo Boumous, back after a four-game ban. Making the most of a lucky deflection off Gama and FC Goa’s reluctance in closing him down, Boumous volleyed into the far corner.

FC Goa went it at half-time convinced that they were denied another penalty when Jahouh and Dessai had tried to deny Ortiz but it was Mumbai City FC who started the second half in fourth gear. Twice Ogbeche could have scored. “We need to be more clinical and have the ball more,” said Mumbai City FC coach Sergio Lobera.

Gama did at the other end what Ogbeche couldn’t, his first goal of the season coming after a run which Mumbai City FC did little to stop. The lead though lasted 119 seconds as malware had affected both backlines. Unmarked in the box, centre-back Mourtada Fall’s header made it 2-2 in the 61st minute. After his fourth goal of the season, Fall's night could have ended differently had referee Pranjal Banerjee showed him red for a two-footed challenge on Princeton Rebello. "He is out for one month now," said FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando.

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