The first leg of the first semi-finals of the Indian Super League 2020-21 season saw FC Goa play out a 2-2 draw with Mumbai City FC.
The match started on a positive note for FC Goa, while Mumbai City FC looked a bit clumsy in the initial few minutes.
FC Goa took advantage of Mumbai City FC's initial slump as they won a penalty in the 20th minute, which Igor Angulo converted to give FC Goa the lead. Mumbai City FC did get an equalizer in the 38th minute when Hugo Boumous' strike leveled the scores before half-time.
The scoreboard at half-time read 1-1.
FC Goa, like the first half, started the second half better than their opponents. Saviour Gama gave FC Goa the lead in the 59th minute, but Mourtada Fall equalized for Mumbai City FC in the 62nd minute. Both teams tried hard to get the winning goal, but the game ended 2-2.
On that note, let us take a look at four things we learned from today's game.
#4 Referee decisions hamper FC Goa
In the 17th minute, FC Goa had their first penalty appeal when Vignesh bought down Alexander Jesuraj. The initial contact looked to be outside the box, and FC Goa should have had at least a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Before half-time, Mandar Rao Desai and Ahmed Jahouh double-teamed and sandwiched Jorge Ortiz, bringing the Spanish midfielder down inside the box, but the referee didn't point to the spot.
FC Goa will feel unlucky in the second half as the referee should have sent Mourtada Fall off for a two-foot stud showing tackle. Overall, FC Goa did deserve another penalty, while Mumbai City FC will feel lucky to finish the game with all eleven players on the pitch.
#3 Bartholomew Ogbeche wasteful in front of goal
Bartholomew Ogbeche, the 36-year-old Nigerian striker, has been one of the most lethal forwards in the Indian Super League. Be it for NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters or Mumbai City FC, 'Big Barth' has been a goal-scoring machine.
Ogbeche has eight goals for Mumbai City FC this season, and they have been crucial goals for the Islanders.
The former Nigerian national team striker forgot his scoring boots today as he missed some sitters in front of goal. He should have had a brace in the first half itself but hit them straight at Dheeraj.
In the second half, he missed two golden opportunities, which any striker should have finished. His link-up play with Adam Le Fondre and Bipin was also lacking today.
Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera will want Ogbeche to forget today's performance and look forward to the second leg.
#2 Jorge Ortiz, the heartbeat of FC Goa
Jorge Ortiz has been the heartbeat of FC Goa this season. He has been pulling all the strings from midfield and controlling the game for the Gaurs. He has been superb in supporting Igor Angulo upfront while also dropping deep to provide cover for his defenders.
Due to his presence today, Ahmed Jahouh and Hugo Boumous couldn't play their usual fluid football. Jorge Ortiz's presence inside the box prompted Mandar to bring the Spaniard down which earned FC Goa a penalty in the 20th minute.
His forward runs kept Ahmed Jahouh busy, while his constant dropping back didn't allow Hugo Boumous too much space to operate in.
#1 All to play for in the second leg
The second leg of the first semi-final will be a thriller to watch out for as the first leg ended 2-2. With the away goals rule not in effect this season, no team has an advantage in the second leg. It will be a classic all-to-play-for semi-final second leg.
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While the game today lacked pace at times and both teams had an air of caution, the second leg would see the Islanders and the Gaurs go for the kill.
Mumbai City FC and FC Goa both saw their defenders scoring today, and that is something both teams will want to see again in the second leg.