Mumbai City FC beat Goa FC 5-3 in a thrilling clash in Margao on Saturday to claim the ISL League Shield with two games in hand. FC Goa are determined not to make Mumbai’s title race easy, trying to beat them with an attack of their own. They succeeded with this approach as early as the 5th minute. A long free-kick was played to Noah Sadaoui, who evaded three defenders and found the goal to give FC Goa the lead.
But the league leaders weren’t quiet for long. In the 18th minute, they won a free kick in the middle of the penalty area. Greg Stewart came forward and fired a powerful left-footed shot into Dheeraj Singh’s near post, beating his outstretched right hand.
Both teams continued to press forward, the defense looked shaky, and within four minutes of the break, the game exploded.
In the 40th minute, Diaz received a low cross from Larian Zulachangte from the right and hooked the ball in front of the goal, giving the Islanders the lead.
Their joy was short-lived as FC Goa once again brought them down with a long ball. Sadaoui became the creator, finding Brandon Fernandes’ run and lobbing the defense to put him one-on-one with Phurba Lachenpa. Fernandes made no mistake with his first touch and the hosts leveled again.
But Stewart came on again and put Mumbai City ahead with his second free-kick of the game, a gentler curling shot that bounced off the post.
Mumbai City pressed Goa in the second half, forcing the hosts to take risks, especially Chant.
In the 71st minute, the winger found an open cross and Anwar Ali sent the ball in the penalty area. He stepped up to the plate, scoring double digits this season and taking the game beyond FC Goa.
In the 77th minute, the Islanders sent Chante and Stewart off, but the substitutes still circled Goa.
Mourtada Fall headed in from the corner and Vikram Pratap Singh headed in front of the goal to make it 5-2.
Brisson Fernandez found the goal from Alvaro Vazquez’s deep drop in the back-to-back, but the game would end with an eighth goal.
Mumbai City FC will lock down first place as they travel to Bengaluru FC on February 15. FC Goa remains in fifth place but is just a stone’s throw away from FC Odisha and FC Bengaluru. Their next assignment is a home match against Chennaiyin FC on February 16.
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