Mumbai: FC Goa found their groove once again to complete a double over Mumbai City with a 2-0 win at the Mumbai Arena on Friday.
Edu Bedia opened the scoring for the Gaurs before a Corominas penalty deep in the second half ensured a victory for the Gaurs, who have now leapfrogged Jameshedpur FC to take the third spot in the table.
Mumbai, who were thrashed 5-0 by Sergio Lobera’s side in Goa, hardly created a chance of note in the first half. They briefly ruffled the Goan defence in the second half but conceding a sloppy penalty pulled down curtains on the contest.
Playing a low defensive block, Mumbai invited trouble from the get-go and as early as the second minute, Amrinder Singh was called into action with a diving save from Mandar Rao Desai’s shot from outside the box. Bedia, Brandon Fernandes and Desai’s slick one-touch passing and movement meant that Mumbai’s midfield and defence were under severe pressure.
On another day, Milan Singh would have been given a red card by the referee as the Mumbai midfielder’s challenge was high, reckless, and could have seriously injured a Goa player. He escaped with a yellow.
Lucian Goian, frequently drawn out of position, also went in the book minutes later.
Milan, though, came to the rescue with a timely block from Coro’s shot from close range but was helpless to stop Goa from taking the lead. It was Desai’s pass from the left flank that created the chance. Coro was found in space with a delightful ball on the left. His shot was saved by Amrinder but Bedia turned the ball into the net.
With Jackichand on the right and Desai on the left, Goa continued to threaten in the first half. The nearest visiting custodian Mohammad Nawaz came to touching the ball during that period was a shot from Mathias Mirabaje which went wide of the post.
Mumbai came out with more intent in the second half. There was more aggressive pressing in the middle of the park. The home side were also recycling possession a lot better, and Goa’s defence, for the first time in the game, was tested. Paulo Machado’s close range shot was brilliantly saved by Nawaz. Then, Goian’s header from a free-kick hit the frame of the goal with the Goan goalie rooted to the spot.
Mumbai’s capricious approach cost them further deep in the game. Subhashish Bose’s careless trip on Coro earned them a spot-kick twelve minutes from time. The Goa skipper made no mistake from twelve yards out.
The defeat showed that Mumbai still have a lot to ponder, despite their recent nine-match unbeaten run. As for Goa, who have been on an indifferent run of late, they might just gather steam and clinch a play-off spot.