ISL: Wasteful FC Goa play out a goalless draw with Mumbai City FC
The encounter between high flying Mumbai City FC and a struggling FC Goa ended in a stalemate as both teams failed to score in what was a rather wasteful 90 minutes of play at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Fatorda) in Margao, Goa. It was a similar story for FC Goa as they continued missing their chances, losing out on another crucial 2 points.
Both teams had their fair share of chances, but strong defending from both sides, backed by a lack of goal poaching skills on display led to the teams sharing spoils in what was a must win game for FC Goa as they continued a bad run under their coach Zico.
Both teams started with a some tinkering to their line-ups with Mumbai City FC starting the impressive Nadong Bhutia ahead of Lalrindika Ralte, who seemed to be a little off-colour in the last game. FC Goa on the other hand gave Tolgay Ozbey a run up top, while Bikramjit Singh made his ISL debut as he replaced Jewel Raja in the line-up.
Even first half with both sides attacking
FC Goa started the game on a positive note, creating a couple of good opportunities right at the start. In what was one of the picks of the early part of the game, a great long ball from Narayan Das found Bruno Pinheiro on the right, who played in Tolgay Ozbey who was fouled outside the box. The home team was wasteful with the free-kick as the ball surged way over the bar.
The away side then had an odd chance on the counter, but Nadong Bhutia failed to make the right contact. Buoyed by the move, Mumbai FC went on, but despite creating opportunities failed to take any advantage.
FC Goa got back into the game and surged forward with vigour. In a moment of slack defending by Cmovs, his clearance was intercepted by Mandar, who played it on to Tolgay. But just as the Australian went past two defenders, Subrata Paul came out to avert any danger. FC Goa forward line went on, but some good last ditch defending saved the blushes for Mumbai City FC.
Just moments from the half time whistle, Subash and Moritz did ever so well to exchange passes outside the box before Moritz skipped past Arnolin's challenge to go clear on the left and slid the ball in, beating a diving Seda to find Subhash, who tapped it in, only to be deemed offside. Just as the half time whistle was about to blow, Andre Moritz met an injury, which saw him being replaced by Tiago Ribeiro.
Lack of cutting edge for either team
As we kicked on the second half, both teams made a change each. While Zico got on Ranti Martins in hope to apply some final touches in place of Pires, Peter Reid withdrew Nadong and brought on his regular starter Lalrindika Ralte to have more control of the game.
Though not directly, but the move seemed to have brough some positive energy, but the stroy continued as FC Goa scrambled two good chances in the space of a minute. First Gregory Arnolin was denied by the cross bar off a corner, only to see Tolgay miss a clear chance, as he sent it wide in the next minute.
Stohanzl won the ball in the midfield and started the move as he found Lalrindika Ralte who blasted a powerful left footed shot at Jan Seda, who did ever so well to prevent the ball from getting in. Ralte had another chance minutes later when Anelka flicked it to Didika, who missed the opportunity, getting a few seconds late to the ball before the goalkeeper came out to save it.
Seeing the attack index turn Mumbai’s way in the second half, Zico brought on his trump card Gabriel Fernandes, who had just recovered from an injury in place of Romeo Fernandes. But Mumbai City FC did not take the foot off the pedal as Stohanzl was fouled just outside the box. Anelka stepped up to take it and tested the keeper with a shot in the top left corner, but to no avail.
In what was the last throw of the dice for Zico, the Brazilian brought on Miguel Herlein for Tolgay, but the move did not pay off as the Portuguese failed to convert the few chances he got. Lalrindika Ralte too found himself at the end of a couple of last gasp chances, but getting past Seda was not the order of the day today.
It was all FC Goa in the last 5 minutes and the home side had as many as four good chances to take three points, but good last ditch defending and off the line clearances prevented FC Goa from scoring and the game ended in a 0-0 stalemate.