ISL 2018-19: Mumbai win but FC Goa go through to the finals.
by Shubham Sharma
Margao: Mumbai City FC defeated FC Goa by 1-0 here on Tuesday to end the season on a positive note. Despite the win, the Islanders lost by 5-2 on aggregate to get knocked out by the Gaurs. FC Goa had won 5-1 in the first leg that was played in Mumbai.
Rafael Bastos scored the only goal of the night. Despite Jorge Costa's claim that there was no way the team could turn the tables in the second leg, his side drew the first blood as early as the sixth minute of the match.
Arnold Issoko intercepted a sloppy pass from Moroccan Ahmed Jahouh in the midfield and dribbled his way across the centre to pick out Rafael Bastos' run and unleashed a cross into the box to the Brazilian who slotted it past Goa custodian Naveen Kumar.
Goa then took control of the game but the Mumbai defense led by Romanian Lucian Goian stood firm to close any gaps for Goa to breach the defense. Jahouh was pickpocketed again midway through the first half and Bastos sent Modou Sougou clear into the box. Naveen pulled off a good save and the rebound was cleared by a recovering Mourtada Fall.
A Paulo Machado strike from outside the box was deflected off target by Jahouh and a Bastos free-kick flew over the bar before the break as Mumbai piled the pressure on Goa and sought more goals. At the other end, a Jackichand Singh cross was headed wide by Hugo Boumous, leaving the Mumbai defenders on their toes.
Ferran Corominas, who had been silent in the first half, tried to influence the flow of the game after the break. The Spanish striker's shot from outside the box three minutes after the restart was saved by Amrinder Singh. In the 56th minute, Jackichand's cross from the right was punched by Amrinder into the path of Corominas whose shot rattled the crossbar.
Mumbai looked to increase their lead as the second half progressed but struggled to create clear-cut chances against a stable Goa defence and an alert Naveen Kumar. Machado split the defence with a through-ball into the box for Bastos in the 70th minute but a sliding challenge from Seriton Fernandes and a clearance by Naveen denied the visitors.
Sougou came agonisingly close to scoring a goal late in the game as the striker's effort missed the post by a whisker. A curling Matias Mirabaje free-kick was kept out by Naveen but a miraculous comeback was already out of sight by then as Goa marched into the final.