FC Goa took the lead twice but ended up sharing the spoils in their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) first leg semi-final encounter against Mumbai City FC in a 2-2 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
Igor Angulo gave the Gaurs the lead in the 20th minute by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and calmly converting his penalty. However, Hugo Boumous equalized for Mumbai City FC in the 38th minute.
Saviour Gama's darting run in the 59th minute ended with him scoring a scorching goal from the outside of the box for FC Goa. But the joy was short-lived as Mourtada Fall equalized for the opposition two minutes later.
FC Goa were denied two clear-cut penalties. The first instance occurred in the 16th minute when Vignesh Dakshinamurthy pulled Alexander Romario Jesuraj down from behind. The second instance occurred just at the stroke of half-time when Jorge Ortiz Mendoza was clamped down by Mandar Rao Dessai again.
However, FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando's biggest miss in the second leg of the semi-finals will be Princeton Rebello. Mourtada Fall made no contact with the ball and lunged a two-footed challenge on the youngster's ankles.
"Princeton's season is over. It's not a football tackle, it's a taekwondo tackle. Seriton (Fernandes) also had problems in the last game with tackles from Hyderabad FC. We have a lot of injuries from tackles," Ferrando said.
Seriton pulled his hamstring muscle early in the game and was replaced by Leander D'Cunha, who made his ISL debut with FC Goa. Heaping praise on the youngster, Juan Ferrando said:
"I am happy with Leander (D'Cunha) because he was out of the squad all the season. Today, it wasn't a normal opportunity for him. But, I believe in Leander. We have trust in him and I am happy with his first performance in ISL."
Our mentality is to win all the time - FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando
Mumbai City FC had some glorious opportunities to score more goals, but FC Goa's goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh made two saves to keep them in the game.
"I think sometimes, we were good. But, in the transitions, we repeated the mistakes. Of course, in these moments, we have problems," Ferrando mentioned.
After Mumbai City FC equalized for the second time, it seemed as if FC Goa took their foot off the pedal and slowed things down. However, Ferrando made it clear that this was not the case.
"No, not at all. Our mentality is to win all the time. Sometimes, it is not possible to win," Ferrando signed off.
With Princeton Rebello and, possibly, Seriton Fernandes absent from the reverse leg, FC Goa will have their task cut out against Mumbai City FC on Monday.