Mumbai City FC struck late to edge past FC Goa 2-1 in a thrilling game at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Saturday. After a goalkeeping blunder gave Mumbai the lead in the second-half, Goa had equalized fast, before Thiago Dos Santos’ winner in the 83rd minute took the game beyond doubt.
After a barren first 45 minutes where both sides had chances to draw first blood, Everton Santos put Mumbai City ahead in the 59th minute, only for Manuel Arana to draw level in the 83rd. But just when fans were thinking the match would end in a stalemate, substitute Thiago Dos Santos scored the winner in the 88th minute.
The frenetic end to the clash and the two goals in the last seven minutes provided plenty of entertainment, in contrast to the first half where no goals were scored.
Mumbai City’s opening goal was a gift from FC Goa as goalkeeper and captain Laxmikant Kattimani failed to clear a regulation back-pass at the hour mark. Defender Chinglensana Singh had passed the ball back to his goalkeeper, hoping he would clear it away, but instead he allowed Everton Santos to charge at him, and as he went for a slide, the ball deflected off him into the goal.
FC Goa didn’t expect the setback at that stage and tried to fight their way back. They managed to find the back of the net after a brilliant one-two with Ferran Corominas finishing it off, but the goal was ruled offside.
Goa’s disappointment turned into joy in the 83rd minute. Arana scored the equaliser as Seriton Fernandes lobbed a long ball in his direction and the Spanish attacker rushed forward to bury it past Mumbai’s excellent goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
There was one more late twist to the game as Mumbai grabbed the winner in the 88th minute. Santos did all the hard work and found Thiago on the right. The substitute skipped past two defenders and then scored from an acute angle past Kattimani.
Earlier in the first half, FC Goa had plenty of ball possession but couldn’t create too many goal-scoring chances. The best chance came in added time when Corominas was denied by the Mumbai goalkeeper with a stunning reflex save.
Mumbai too had their chances but Balwant Singh lacked sharpness in front of goal.
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