Mumbai City FC edged past FC Goa 2-1 in a fluctuating Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Saturday.
It was MumbaiCity’s first win after an opening round loss against Bengaluru FC, and the first loss for high-flying FC Goa who had defeated Chennaiyin FC.
After a barren first half where both sides had chances to draw first blood, Everton Santos put MumbaiCity ahead in the 59th minute, only for Manuel Arana to draw level in the 83rd. But just when fans were thinking the match would end in a stalemate, substitute Thiago Dos Santos scored the winner in the 88th minute.
MumbaiCity’s opening goal was a gift from FC Goa as goalkeeper and captain Laxmikant Kattimani failed to clear a regulation back-pass at the hour mark. Defender Chinglensana Singh passed the ball back to his goalkeeper, hoping he would clear it away, instead he allowed Everton Santos to charge at him, and as he went for a slide, the ball deflected off him into the goal.
FC Goa tried to fight their way back and they managed to pull one back in the 83rd minute. Arana scored the equaliser as Seriton Fernandes lobbed a long ball in his direction and the Spanish attacker rushed forward to bury it past Mumbai’s excellent goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
There was one more late twist to the game as Mumbai grabbed the winner in the 88th minute. Santos did all the hard work and found Thiago on the right. The substitute skipped past two defenders and then scored from an acute angle past Kattimani.
Earlier in the first half, FC Goa had plenty of ball possession but couldn’t create too many goal-scoring chances. The best chance came in added time when Corominas was denied by the Mumbai goalkeeper with a stunning reflex save.
Mumbai too had their chances but Balwant Singh lacked sharpness in front of goal.
I-League: Moinuddin's last-minute strike gets draw for Punjab
Substitute Moinuddin found a timely equaliser in dying moments as Minerva Punjab walked away with a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan in the season-opening game of the 11th edition of Hero I-League, in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Punjab looked more dominating in the first half and kept most of the possession. Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, were more alert and played with caution.
All the attack of Minerva came from the left flank in the early moments where Bhutanese forward Chencho tried to break up the Mohun Bagan defence multiple times but failed each time.
Sony Norde had a good opportunity to give the away side a lead in the 29th minute but his free-kick just missed the left corner of the goal post.
A sheer moment of brilliance from Norde against the run of play in the 42nd minute led to the first goal of the game. Norde received the ball just ahead of the central defenders, he quickly dribbled the ball to the left beating Dano with his pace before slotting the ball in the bottom left corner.
As soon as the second half began there was a sense of urgency in Punjab’s attack. Half-time substitute Lago who came in place of Japanese Toshiya was the centre of the action.
First, he missed an open chance created by Girik Khosla after a goal-line clearance by Mohun Bagan defence and then moments later he hit the post from the corner in 58th minute.
The first half goal scorer and Mohun Bagan sharpshooter Norde created another goal-scoring opportunity in the 63rd minute but second-half substitute Faiaz couldn’t connect to his low cross in front of the empty net.
This missed opportunity came to haunt Mohun Bagan later on in the game when Minerva’s second-half substitute Moinuddin scored a volley in the 89th minute to level the match. Moinuddin quickly moved away from his marker struck the ball sweetly into the bottom left side of the net.