MUMBAI: Mumbai City FC were once again made to chase shadows as they crashed to their second straight defeat at their home ground, the Mumbai Football Arena, on Thursday. Having lost 2-4 to Odisha last Thursday, the hosts went down by an identical scoreline to last year’s finalists FC Goa after another slow start.
Goa, meanwhile, played some free-flowing football to take the game away from Mumbai. They went 2-0 up in the first half, with strikes from Lenny Rodrigues and the prolific Ferran Corominas. Even though Mumbai came back strongly in the second half, equalizing in the space of six minutes, with Sarthak Golui and Souvik Chakrabarti finding the back of the net, Goa were quick to turn the tide. Hugo Boumous headed in a superb cross from Mourtada Fall to score in the 59th minute, while Carlos Pena underlined his team’s superiority with a goal in the 89th minute.
The dazzling performance, where Goa held 64 per cent of the possession, saw Sergio Lobera’s men soar to the top of the league table. They are tied at 8 points from 4 matches with NorthEast United FC, but Goa are ahead on goal difference. Mumbai are currently placed fifth on the leaderboard, with four points from four matches.
The way Goa started, they revived memories of their 5-1 win in Mumbai in last season’s semi-final. While Mumbai once again missed Mato Grigic in defence, they were verve-less against the relentless attack of the visitors. Goa sprung into the lead as Rodrigues controlled the ball from the corner kick and struck it in goal on the volley. Just before half-time, Corominas, two-time golden boot winner in ISL, latched onto a low cross from Seriton Fernandes to score.
As they had against Odisha, Mumbai tried to make a match of it with two quick goals in the second half. While Golui helped them get on the board with a 49th-minute strike, Chakrabarti raised hopes of a comeback with a clean, ripping strike from just outside the box in the 55th minute.
Mumbai’s joy, however, was short-lived, as Goa took the lead once again after just four minutes. Boumous was rewarded for his pivotal display in the midfield, as he found himself at the right end of a leaping cross from Fall. The Frenchman struck at point-blank range. After another quarter of dominance, Goa polished off the game with another sweet strike from Pena.
Result: Mumbai City 2 (S Golui 49’, S Chakraborty 55’) Goa 4 (L Rodrigues 27’, F Corominas 45’, H Boumous 59’, C Pena 89’).