First win for Ranbir Kappor and team

Mumbai City FC hosted FC Goa last evening (25 Nov 2017) in the Hero Indian Super League 2017-18 at Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai.

FC Goa were the side to kick-off the first half and on a stronger note with the last win. Goa held on to the ball well with some good passes in their own half and not rushing much for the opener. First attack came in the visitors on a long ball looking for Mandar Rao Desai. But Amrinder came out off his line and cleared the ball away to make his first touch on the ball.

In the 4th minute, Balwant had a chance for the opener. A long ball to him, at the edge of the box was well controlled by Balwant on his chest, but couldn’t really make and attempt to finish as Seriton Benny Fernandes of Goa was able to clear it. FC Goa continued their passing game and looked good with the ball on to their feet. Mumbai City FC pressed high to get the ball out, but failed often as the Goans were always in position to finish the passes. FC Goa tried to create few chances now and then, but were denied by the strong defense of the home side.

After 13 minutes and 35 seconds, Goa came with a good piece of game on the edge of Mumbai’s box and almost knocked the door. A good one-two passing game by Coro and Leonardo Fabricio Soares Da Costa created the chance for Coro, but it was well read by the Mumbai’s defender, Gerson Fraga Vieira, cleared off eventually.

Mumbai had man to man marking done, but Goa somehow were able to get themselves free and come into spaces to receive and pass the ball and keep the game going according to them. Whereas the home side were rushing in for goal whenever then won the ball and loosing it again in the process. In the 19th minute, Coro came up with another opportunity inside Mumbai’s box with good piece of control on his foot and setting up a shot for himself. But the shot was deflected and went into the hands of Amrinder.

Two minutes later, Sanju brought a chance to Balwanth inside the Goa’s box, but Balwanth’s poor touch ruined the chance. Balwanth often made good runs for the ball, but couldn’t really do anything at end. In the same minute, Mumbai on a counter attack created a chance. A well timed pass through the defense line seemed to be the pass of the opening goal. The well intercepted sliding tackle,  to cut down the chance also seemed the same as Seriton Benny Fernandes’s sliding clearance hit the post of his own goal.But luckily it hit the outside of the post stayed into the game and eventually was cleared.

FC Goa still had the maximum ball position and number of passes. As the timed ticked on, chances created by Mumbai also went high with Balwanth at the end of the last pass. But it wasn’t his day as none of his attempt on goal went in nor were his touches good. Game went on and 2 minutes were added to the regular 45.

In the 45+2nd minute, an excellent goalkeeping by Amrinder made the score line remain nil nil. Again a wonderful opportunity for Goa was denied as a good play by the visitors, Coro and Ahmed Jahouh were involved. First attempt by Ahmed Jahouh was blocked by the defense line and the following shot by Coro was excellently saved by Amrinder. All the action happened inside the box, and Coro missed a golden opportunity. Both the teams went out for the break with no goals scored.

Mumbai City FC kicked-off the second half with a positive note with creating a chance in the first minute of the half. It was Balwanth again who had the chance. But his shot was saved by Kuttimani. As the Goans were trying to settle down with their passing game and involving Kattimani in the process, another chance to the home side came on as the back pass by Ahmed Jahouh to Kuttimani had less pace, which gave a chance to Achille Emana Edzimbi to charge on. But luckily Kuttimani cleared the danger away.

Mumbai boys now were little seeming to slow down their pace and increase the number passes and building the attack. Everton got himself with action more in the second half with making good runs and pressurizing the Goan defense regularly. An action packed half made the fans to be on edge of their seats. Kuttimani and Amrinder were stood strong in denying the attacks many times.

In the 58th minute, a mistake by Kuttimani gave Mumbai their first goal of the season. Kuttimani took his time in clearing a back passed ball from Ali. Everton pressurized Kuttimani as he took time and as Kuttimani was about to clear the ball, a sliding tackle of Everton made the ball rebound into Goa’s nets. And there was Mumbai’s first goal of this season.

After Goa conceded the goal, they changed their game of passing to more of a attacking. In the 65th minute, a good one-two passing game created an opportunity for the visitors to equalize. Quick exchange of passes between Coro and the substitute Arana was the build to the chance which neatly finished by Coro by chipping the ball over Amrinder, but the goal wasn’t counted as Coro was off side. The game picked up its pace and a lot of end to end actions were happening as the visitors were looking for the equalizer and Mumbai wanted to double the lead.

Goa finally equalized in the 83rd minute. Again it was the Coro and Arana combination which gave the visitors the goal. Coro’s assist to Arana was perfect for him to shoot it in first time. A minor dispossession by Mumbai in the midfield was the reason for the counter and the goal. FC Goa too were looking for the second now. In the 86th minute, Amrinder was put into action again. A beautiful shot, curling in, by Manuel Lanzarote Bruno seemed goin in, but a wonderful save by Amrinder denied Bruno.

Mumbai were now seemimg to have the ball and creating chances. In the 87th minute, substitute Diego Santos doubled the lead for the home side with a spectacular run inside Goa’s box and finishing swiftly through Kuttimani’s legs into the goal. Defender Ali was unable to make upto Santos’s pace and skills due to which the goal was conceded.

The on field atmosphere became little hot when Bruno’s anger and frustration came up by a rough challenge on him. with the resulting free-kick, Bruno attempted a shot on target. But Amrinder was well alert to deny his effort by pushing away the ball. This was the last action of the game as the home fans celebrated the first win with a score of 2-1.

At full time scores were, 2-1 favoring Mumbai City FC.

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