Match 87 of Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 saw Mumbai City FC and FC Goa play out a 3-3 draw at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. First half goals by Hugo Boumous and Adam le Fondre had put the Islanders in a strong position but a stunning strike by Glan Martins, which was the 200th goal of the season, had reduced Mumbai City’s lead. Igor Angulo then scored the equaliser for the Gaurs early in the second period, however, Rowllin Borges reestablished Mumbai City’s lead late on before substitute Ishan Pandita scored a leveller in the dying seconds of the match.

Mumbai City began the game positively and Boumous nearly unlocked Goa’s defence in the 7th minute after outpacing Adil Khan on the right to make a surging run with the ball into the box. His effort from a tight angle though was thwarted by goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh to the relief of Adil.

Goa began to see more of the ball as the half wore on, while Mumbai City tried to fit into the unfamiliar role of being the side with less possession. However, for all of Goa’s possession, they couldn’t really create much and instead ended up conceding in the 20th minute.

The Gaurs were on the attack after a set-piece saw them commit most of their players in Mumbai City’s half, leaving them light at the back. The Islanders capitalized on the Gaurs’ overzealous attack by launching a quick counter to release Boumous, who made up the ground from his own half quickly before rounding Dheeraj and slotting the ball into the net to make it 1-0 for his side.

Mumbai City then doubled their lead in the 26th minute from a corner. Bipin Singh took the corner and produced a pin-point ball into the box for Hernan Santana to head on target. Dheeraj managed to save Santana’s effort but couldn’t do anything about le Fondre’s header on the rebound.

The Gaurs nearly halved the deficit in the 34th minute when Igor Angulo headed a delightful cross from the right on goal. The Spaniard’s header t hough was saved by goalkeeper Amrinder Singh. However, the Mumbai City custodian was powerless when it came to preventing a spectacular long range shot by Martins that rattled the back of the net just before halftime and reduced the Islanders’ lead to 2-1 at the break.

Goa made it all square just six minutes into the second period after Angulo beat the offside trap and clinically headed a cross from the left into the net. The teams could have scored another goal soon after the equaliser but both Jorge Ortiz and Rowllin Borges’ attempts from outside the box flew over the crossbar.

Borges also had a golden chance to help Mumbai City regain their lead in the 80th minute after Boumous drove into the box with the ball and provided a cutback from the left. Dheeraj got a touch on Boumous’ cutback but only managed to palm it to a dangerous area outside the six-yard box where Borges was waiting. Unfortunately for Mumbai City, Borges completely missed making any sort of proper connection with the ball and slipped as the chance went abegging.

The closing stages of the contest witnessed both teams going for the win and it was Borges who thought that he had scored the winner late on to redeem his earlier miss. The Indian midfielder attacked a Boumous set-piece from the left and ran the ball into the net at the far post.

However, substitute Pandita came off the bench and scored a late leveller to earn his side a point. Pandita headed in a cross from the right by Edu Bedia in what was virtually the last piece of action in the game. The draw meant that Goa re-entered the top four and Mumbai City guaranteed their spot in the semi-finals.

(Courtesy- ISL)



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