Hello, and welcome to Sportstar‘s live coverage of the Indian Super League match between FC Goa and Mumbai City FC.
10′ Mourtada Fall is all over the pitch! This time he tries to win the ball in the attacking half, slides in and brings down Amine Chermiti, who seems to be in plenty of pain. Fall gets a talking to from the referee. The foul didn’t warrant an yellow.
8′ Ahmed Jahouh receives a square pass and, from well over 30 yards out, lets fly a right-footed effort. Doesn’t get his knee over the ball and blazes it over the crossbar.
5′ Mourtada Fall v Modou Sogou is emerging as a key individual battle in the early exchanges. So far, Fall has been on top of his game with his reading of the situation and timing of interceptions and tackling. Sogou is Mumbai’s lone man up front, so his hold-up play will be crucial to his team’s chances of winning.
2′ A couple of niggling fouls from Mumbai City in the early moments. This time it’s Brandon Fernandes who wins a free-kick in Mumbai City’s defensive half. Midfield enforcer Ahmed Jahouh picks out Mourtada Fall in the box, he tries to direct his header across goal but doesn’t get the desired connection and it’s out for a goal kick.
Kick-off: FC Goa gets us underway, playing from right to left in the first half.
The pyrotechnics go off as the players make their way out to the middle. The two sets of players have assembled either side of the match referees and we are ready for the Indian national anthem. The national anthem and the customary pre-match handshakes and team photos are complete. We are minutes away from kick-off.
With about 20 minutes to kick-off, FC Goa players are out for warm-up.
A view of the Fatorda Stadium before kick-off.
Team news: FC Goa’s interim coach Clifford Miranda has named an unchanged starting XI from the win over Hyderabad FC. For Mumbai, Bidyananda Singh, who scored the winner against Jamshedpur FC, and Bipin Singh feature in the starting XI, in place of Sourav Das and Raynier Fernandes.
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Seriton Fernandes, Mourtada Fall, Carlos Pena, Mandar Rao Desai, Lenny Rodrigues, Ahmed Jahouh, Jackichand Singh, Hugo Boumous, Brandon Fernandes, Ferran Corominas (Substitutions: Naveen Kumar, Mohamed Ali, Saviour Gama, Edu Bedia, Princeton Rebello, Seiminlen Doungel, Manvir Singh)
Mumbai City: Amrinder Singh (GK), Mato Grgic, Pratik Chaudhari, Subhasish Bose, Mohammed Rafique, Rowllin Borges, Bipin Singh, Bidyananda Singh, Diego Carlos, Mohamed Larbi, Modou Sogou (Substitutions: Ravi Kumar, Valpuia, Keenan Almeida, Pranjal Bhumij, Raynier Fernandes, Surchandra Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy)
A fixture which could have direct implications on the race for the playoff spots, Mumbai City travels to FC Goa needing a win to reinforce its quest to reach the playoffs. With 26 points after 16 rounds, Mumbai City must win its final two fixtures. Goa, on the other hand, is assured of a playoff spot and battles ATK to finish top and secure an AFC Champions League group-stage spot for next season.
At the pre-match press conference, FC Goa interim coach Clifford Miranda said: “Two teams with two different motivations to play. It will be an intense match. There will be no margin for error. It will be a difficult game for both teams.”
Mumbai manager Jorge Costa said: “It will be an open game. They don’t know how to play defensive football. Especially, because of the quality they have. They will be fighting to finish first. We will play for a top-four spot. Both of us have pressure to deliver. I hope the fans will enjoy the game and we get the three points.”