Photo Credit: ISL Media Twitter (https://twitter.com/IndSuperLeague/status/1331631402924666880/photo/1)
ISL 2020-21 FC GOA vs Mumbai City FC: Late Fondre winner seals tie for Mumbai over ten-men Goa
A late injury-time penalty was what helped the Islanders get the win.
Mumbai City FC defeated FC Goa by 1-0 on Wednesday night, all thanks to a goal from the spot by forward man Adam le Fondre, at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
It was always a difficult tie for Goa to see through after Redeem Tlang was sent off for a rash tackle on Mumbai City's Hernan Santana, which made a ten-man Goa chase the ball and stay defensive in their own half for the rest of the game.
The first fifteen minutes of the game saw neither of the two sides create any clear-cut opportunity to score. Goa, however, saw more of the ball and looked promising. A 25th-minute free-kick from a dangerous area by Edu Bedia was shot straight into Mumbai City’s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh's palms.
Goa continued to hold the lion’s share of possession but had little opportunity to create any opening at the goal. A set-piece from Edu Bedia in the 35th minute was put into a dangerous area but no one could ever make it to the ball.
It was in the 40th minute of the match when the tables turned, as Redeem Tlang's high foot lunging tackle on Hernan Santana was followed by the referee giving the player marching orders.
However, in spite of one-man advantage over the hosts, the Islanders were poor in the buildup and the scoreline remained intact till the halfway mark.
Two minutes into the beginning of the second half, Goa had an opportunity to take the lead when Igor Angulo received the ball near the halfway line and paced towards the goal but the Spaniard then dragged his shot wide.
This was followed by two more promising attempts by the Gaurs at the goal. Edu Bedia's shot was ever going into the back of the net, if not for Amrinder's perfect save. The resulting corner saw Ivan Gonzalez head the ball on target, but Amrinder was in a perfect position to deny the hosts a lead.
Mumbai had their first attempt of the half just before the hour mark when Hugo Boumous created space for himself to take a shot from distance. Soon, he had another take on the goal, which was blocked by the Goan defenders.
The best chance for the visitors came in the 75th minute, when le Fondre's cross found Mandar Rao Desai right in front of the goal, who's attempt went all but wide, missing a chance to score against his former team.
Mumbai held the ball possession in the last ten minutes of the normal time but were unable to bifurcate the Goan defense. A le Fondre shot was on target just a minute before the full-time but was saved by Goan custodian Mohammed Nawaz.
With six minutes of added time, Mumbai continued to look for the winner and were eventually rewarded when Lenny Rodrigues' handball inside the box led to a penalty, which Fondre converted to earn the side all three points, the first win of the season.
Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera was happy with the team’s efforts, as the substitutes created chances, “The most important thing is to create chances. I am very proud of my players because I think the substitutions worked and the attitude of the players coming off the bench was amazing. We dominated, created chances, and finally, we scored. I am very happy with these three points.”
The players put in a lot of physical effort, which Lobera acknowledged, “In the last game, we dominated the match although we were playing with 10 players. But we increased the opportunities [in this game] and our level of play but it’s not easy.”
“Physically, we worked very hard because it is tough working with a short pre-season. The players have made a big effort physically. I am happy with the attitude of the players to improve and keep winning,” said Lobera.
Ogbeche didn’t start and instead came on as a substitute, which according to Lobera worked well, “We needed more players to arrive inside the box. I think Ogbeche did that very well. They changed the position of the fullbacks and we created a lot of chances with this kind of football.”
“I am very happy with the substitutions, and Ogbeche played very well in this position. He understands very well what I want as a coach,” said Lobera.
FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando was satisfied with his team’s play with a man disadvantage, “It was difficult to know what happened [during the red card] but the team worked a lot. Now, our focus is on the next game [on Monday] against NorthEast United. It is important to help the players work and to be prepared for the next game,” Ferrando, whose team came into the game after sharing the points with Bengaluru FC in their opening game, said.
“We knew we were in a difficult situation because we were playing against a good team. Before the red card, it was a beautiful game. Two teams tried to play football and build the game. The Plan B didn’t work as well as we wanted it to. The transition from defense to attack was the main problem,” he added.