Mumbai: FC Goa staged a thrilling comeback as they thumped Mumbai City in the first leg of the Indian Super League semi-final on Friday with a comprehensive 5-1 victory at the Mumbai Football Arena, Andheri on Saturday.
A brace from Mourtada Fall, complimented with goals from Ferran Corominas, Jackichand Singh and Brandon Fernandes, left Jorge Costa’s men with an uphill task to qualify in the second leg.
This was the second time in the season that Goa have scored five past Mumbai.
Both teams were neck to neck in the initial phases but after some early pressure, Rafael Bastos put Mumbai ahead in the 20th minute much to the joy of the home fans. Unmarked by Goan defence, the Brazilian made a clever run into the box after picking out Arnold Issoko’s outside-of-the-foot pass from the right to open the scoring.
But the Gaurs soon restored parity through Jackichand Singh, who pounced on an error from goalkeeper Amrinder Singh who failed to block Coro’s shot.
Fall, then, gave Goa the lead with a diving header as Sergio Lobera’s men kept the opposition on the back foot.
Moudou Sougou nearly levelled for the hosts with a tap-in from close range after Bastos tested Naveen Kumar only to be ruled offside.
Things got worse for Mumbai after the half-time break. Jackichand broke free on the right before finding Coro with a lobbed pass and the free-scoring Spaniard made it 3-1.
The Islanders started showing signs of nervousness and it soon resulted in a fourth goal for the visitors. Fall came to the party again, pouncing on a corner from Brandon again to pile misery on Mumbai.
Costa brought on Pranjal Bhumji and Matias Mirabaje to revive Mumbai but Goa showed no signs of slowing down as they took the attack to the opposition.
The final goal of the game came from Fernandes, who latched on to a delightful through ball down the right channel from substitute Boumos to mark a five-star performance from Lobera’s side.
Having lost twice to the Gaurs in the league stage and now in the first leg of the semis after a heavy thrashing, Mumbai’s chance of qualifying seem very slim. The MCFC coach Costa said as much after the match and said, “The dream is over. We have to go to Goa now and be professional till the last minute knowing the result cannot be changed.”