Mumbai City FC reached their first Indian Super League final after beating former finalists FC Goa in a highly competitive semi-final second leg at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. Mumbai won the semi-finals of the second leg 6-5 on penalties (2-2) against the Gaurs.
Mumbai City FC made a bold call when they replaced star goalkeeper Amrinder Singh after being goalless after 120 minutes. Amrinder was furious but he soon switched to substitute goalkeeper Purbha Lachenpa and gave the youngster some advice. In the end, all was well for Mumbai City FC and Lachenpa as the youngster got off to a brilliant start with two saves. The penalty shootout ebbed and flowed as both teams’ penalty takers started poorly only to later raise their standards.
It took 18 penalties to separate the two teams on Monday. Goa FC regained the advantage and had an opportunity to put more pressure on Mumbai City, but Glan Martins missed a crucial penalty and Rowllin Borges held his nerve and shot past Goa FC’s shot-stopper Naveen Kumar to stop it Seal deal.
FULL TIME (AET) | #MCFCFCG @MumbaiCityFC are up to their first #HeroISLFinal! #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/0F1BWYiKGu
– Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) March 8, 2021
Notably, Mumbai City FC also took first place in the standings, winning the League Winners Shield and booking a place in the AFC Champions League. Sergio Lobera’s men will face the winner of the 2nd semi-final between ATK Mohun Bagan and NorthEast United FC.
FC Goa does not use the ascent over 120 minutes
With everything you had to fight for in the second leg, this competition was always in full swing. Goa FC remained on the rise and Mumbai did not have a single shot on goal in the entire game. The first half turned out to be a cage affair where neither side could assert their dominance.
Goa had the best chance of the game in the 27th minute, but Mumbai’s backline was great. Alberto Noguera hit his marker and walked into the box before shooting a shot on goal that was parried by Mumbai keeper Amrinder Singh. The ball eventually fell in the path of Redeem Tlang, whose first attempt was blocked by Amey Ranawade.
Despite failing to test Goa goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, he missed the opportunity to open the goal in the closing stages of the first half after winning a free kick in a dangerous position. Ahmed Jahouh found Hugo Boumous outside the box, shooting his efforts over the bar.
Goa made a change at break when Ishan Pandita came on for Redeem Tlang, and the move sparked energy on their attack as the Gaurs were clearly the better side in the second half.
You created a great opportunity just minutes after rebooting. Alexander Jesuraj received the cutback from Savior Gama and shot a shot that appeared to go into the net, but Amrinder saved with a crucial fingertip to push the ball towards the post for the corner.
Amrinder soon rescued wisely again to deny Goa. After Adil Khan blocked Adam Le Fondre’s efforts, Goa launched a quick counterattack and Jesuraj drilled a low cross into the box for Pandita, whose header was kept away by the Mumbai manager.
Goa kept pushing for a winner and could have ended the competition in stoppage time had James Donachie not missed a gold-rimmed opportunity. Edu Bedia aimed his free kick at the far post, but the defender failed to connect and missed the ball by inches.
In extra time, Mumbai was lucky enough not to admit a mistake. Pandita threw himself on a poor back pass from Hernan Santana, but Amrinder erased the threat in time.