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Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera backs Mourtada Fall after his tackle in ISL semi-final first leg against FC Goa

Mumbai City FC's Mourtada Fall apologizes after scoring against his former side FC Goa in the first leg of ISL semi-final (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Mumbai City FC's Mourtada Fall apologizes after scoring against his former side FC Goa in the first leg of ISL semi-final (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Abhishek Kundu

Mumbai City FC and FC Goa will play the second leg of their semi-final in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday.

Mourtada Fall's tackle in the first leg of the semi-final has been a contentious topic of discussion, as the Mumbai City FC defender dangerously lunged two-footed into Princeton Rebello. FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando later described it as a taekwondo tackle.

However, Mumbai City FC head coach Serio Lobera stood by his defender, claiming Fall is not the kind to intentionally injure an opposition player.

"If people think (Mourtada) Fall had any bad intentions behind the tackle, I will say people don't know Fall. Fall is a very good professional. There were not any bad intentions about this situation. I can say 100%. I don't like when people speak or try to provocate bad words against my player," Lobera said.

FC Goa's Edu Bedia allegedly bit Deepak Tangri in an ISL match earlier this season. However, no action was taken against him. Mumbai City FC coach Sergio Lobera also recalled how nobody made a meal out of that particular situation.

"He (Mourtada Fall) is playing here for a long time. If you want to compare, you can compare with other things. For example, Edu Bedia bit (Deepak) Tangri. And, he is playing now.
"Nobody speaks about this situation. I had (Hugo) Boumous (out for) four games with a suspension. He was in the stands. At the end of the game, some people speak with match commissioner and referee and get things done," Lobera continued his rant.

"When Jamshedpur FC put the ball in the net and FC Goa scored the goal, no one spoke about it" - Mumbai City FC coach Sergio Lobera

Mumbai City FC coach Sergio Lobera wasn't pleased with the negativity surrounding Mourtada Fall before the match against FC Goa (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Mumbai City FC coach Sergio Lobera wasn't pleased with the negativity surrounding Mourtada Fall before the match against FC Goa (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

In a game this season between Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa, Alexandre Lima's shot crossed the line after hitting the underside of the crossbar. However, the linesman failed to spot it. Immediately after, FC Goa scored with a counter-attack and sealed the victory by a 2-1 margin.

"Some people speak about the referees when they want to speak. When Jamshedpur FC put the ball in the net and FC Goa scored the goal, no one spoke about it. Maybe with that point, Hyderabad FC would have played playoffs. I don't like when people speak badly about my players, especially Fall," the Spaniard further added.

Mourtada Fall scored a thumping header in the first leg of the semi-final encounter to level the proceedings for Mumbai City FC. However, the Senegalese didn't celebrate. Rather, he apologized to his former teammates.

"When he scored the goal, you can watch his reaction. He apologized to his former team. We need to play football. We need to respect the people. The referees and match commissioner have a difficult job. I don't like when people use a particular action against my players," Lobera concluded.

Edited by Prem Deshpande

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