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ISL Analysis | Refereeing blunder costs FC Goa the game as Mumbai City FC wins 2-1

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ISL Analysis | Refereeing blunder costs FC Goa the game as Mumbai City FC wins 2-1

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Subhayan Dutta


Mumbai City FC will feel lucky with the win that they churned out against FC Goa, which saw the visitors hitting the goalpost twice and poor refereeing preventing a goal. FC Goa are definitely an emerging force and though they will be upset with the result, they should be happy with their display.

FC Goa shines again but lacks physical endurance  

Sergio Lobera has earned himself some fans with the very first game that his side played against Chennaiyin FC. Their win, unlike many others in the first gameweek, had a poise and composure. It was back on Saturday as the Gaurs were dominating proceedings on a foreign turf yet again, in the Mumbai Football Arena. Having almost 70% of the possession, Goa looked well set for a goal fest yet again but Mumbai City FC had one thing their opponent didn’t have- muscle.

Amidst the patient buildup and impeccable passing, Goa lost the ball every time it went up in the air. The callous refereeing didn’t help much as Mumbai City FC committed as many as 18 fouls but, to add to it, the officials missed out on many late challenges. Mumbai players saw three yellow cards but could have easily seen more. The likes of Lucian Goian, Marcio Nascimento Rozario, and Achille Emana Edzimbi won almost every aerial duel and most physical battles, which broke Goa’s flow repeatedly. Lobera knew their inability to deal with physicality could jeopardize their defence and they started with a more protective four-man midfield to counter it.

However, it left the visitors to solely rely on the likes of Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote’s individual abilities to make things happen up front, but as luck would have it, they hit the woodwork twice and, another time, some unacceptable refereeing prevented them a fair equalizer.

Blunders of epic proportion

It all started quite similarly for Goa’s goalkeeper and skipper Laxmikant Kattimani, whose mistakes had almost cost them the game against Chennaiyin. Though Mumbai started the second-half on a stronger note, they weren’t close to breaking Goa’s organized defence, if not for Kattimani’s goalkeeping. The custodian played a short pass to Chinglensana Singh, who played it back to him seeing Everton Santos charging at him, but the sloppy skipper took ages to clear it, which led to the player sliding in to block the clearance and eventually deflecting the ball into the goal. The second goal, scored by Thiago Santos, had Kattimani responsible in a way as he left enough space between his legs for Santos to place it.

If Lobera wasn’t enough infuriated by his goalie, the refereeing blunder will surely leave his blood boiling, which brings us perhaps to the biggest talking point of the game- the wrongly ruled offside goal of FC Goa. FC Goa had arguably scored the goal of the tournament with a scintillating movement, in a manner similar to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. Manuel Arana played a one-two with Edu Bedia at the edge of the box before putting Coro through another such one-touch pass which he finished, but the linesman got it wrong by a mile.

The Showstopper

It wasn’t a game for Mumbai to win and many would agree to it. They were second best to everything and if not for some poor refereeing and luck, the result could have seen differently. The standout player in the game was, again, Manuel Lanzarote Bruno. FC Goa are tremendously fortunate to have the former Barcelona reserve player in their line-up - a player who possesses the ability to make things happen out of nothing.

Barring the fact that he couldn’t score a goal, he did everything perfect today. While the referee turning a blind eye to Mumbai City FC defence, who were fouling him at ever instance. The Spaniard exhibited his shooting prowess from distance and came dangerously close to claim a worldly goal. He didn’t keep the ball at his feet much, giving 52 passes in the total 60 touches he got during the whole game, but it was enough for him to shake the bar twice. The referee acknowledged only two of the fouls among the many he suffered and his corner kicks were bang on target. FC Goa would surely be disappointed by the result, but definitely not with their performance.

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