FC Goa played out a 2-2 draw with Mumbai City FC in the first leg of the first 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final. On a hot and humid night at the Fatorda Stadium, FC Goa took the lead twice, but Mumbai City FC came back twice through goals from Hugo Boumous and Mourtada Fall.
FC Goa manager Juan Ferrando had to deal with the absence of Ivan Gonzalez and Alberto Noguera, and this meant that he could only feature four foreigners in this crucial fixture.
Meanwhile, Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera brought back Hugo Boumous to replace Hernan Santana, as Mehtab Singh partnered Mourtada Fall in central defense.
FC Goa got a big chance early in the match as Saviour Gama skipped past Mumbai City FC’s makeshift right-back in Mandar Rao Dessai. However, Gama’s low cross was cleared away for a goal-kick.
The FC Goa left-back also tested Amrinder Singh with a strike at the near-post, but the goal-keeper pushed it for a corner.
Mumbai City FC finally came into the game through Adam Le Fondre, who was employed on the right wing. Le Fondre managed to eke out a wonderful cross beyond the FC Goa defense but Bipin Singh couldn’t meet the ball.
Mumbai City FC had their hearts in their mouths when Alexander Romario went down in the box after a challenge from Vignesh Dakhinamurthy. However, referee Pranjal Banerjee waved play on immediately.
FC Goa were eventually awarded a spot-kick in the 19th minute after Mandar tripped a quick-footed Jorge Ortiz Mendoza. The 37-year-old Igor Angulo made no mistake as he smacked the penalty past Amrinder to bag his 14th goal of the season.
Mumbai City FC's Hugo Boumous set-up a fine chance for Bartholomew Ogbeche, but Dheeraj Singh parried away a strong strike from the forward. After a cooling break, Mumbai City FC registered a superb equalizer through Boumous.
Ahmed Jahouh found Boumous with a quick free-kick and the latter got a lucky deflection off Gama. Boumous raced into the box and rifled the ball past a hapless Dheeraj to produce the equalizer.
The Gaurs had another penalty denied by the referee when Jorge Ortiz went down after coming into contact with Jahouh. At the other end, Dheeraj pulled his side out of trouble with a big save to deny Ogbeche’s well-connected header.
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Dheeraj put his body on the line yet again to fist the ball away, before Fall could meet Jahouh’s corner-kick.
Mumbai City FC should have scored another goal early in the second-half but Ogbeche blazed his shot over the post. Ogbeche fluffed another big chance when he headed wide after Mandar whipped in a cross.
Out of nowhere, Gama made a cracking run and released a superb shot into the bottom-left corner to put FC Goa in the lead once again. It took only a couple of minutes for Mumbai City FC to equalize as Fall headed an inviting Jahouh cross past Dheeraj.
The 36-year-old Ogbeche found himself in the thick of the action when he smashed a volley over the target. Ogbeche did well to chest down Le Fondre’s cross, but he couldn’t test Dheeraj from just outside the box.
The match became intense when Angulo found the back of the net, but the referee disallowed the goal citing that the striker handled the ball.
The referee was in the spotlight once again in stoppage time, when he only handed a yellow card to Mumbai City FC's Fall after he made a two-footed challenge on Angulo. Apart from this contentious decision, it proved to be a fair draw given how the two sides fared on the night.
Who was the Hero of the Match?
The free-flowing Jorge Ortiz Mendoza bagged the "Hero of the Match" award for a tireless performance in this semi-final. It was Jorge Ortiz who earned FC Goa’s penalty early in the first-half, while he continued to run the Mumbai City FC defense ragged.
Jorge Ortiz could have earned at least one more penalty for FC Goa, but luck was not on his side. Overall, the 28-year-old produced a passing accuracy rate of 68%, while he also won a number of individual duels.
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