FC Goa reclaim third spot with 3-3 draw against Mumbai City FC
Goa: FC Goa reclaimed third spot on the table while showing true grit, character and determination to come back thrice to draw 3-3 with Mumbai City FC here at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
The Gaurs were down 0-2 within first 30 minutes but strikes from Glan Martins and Igor Angulo brought the score back to 2-2 early in the second half. Mumbai seemingly stole all three points in the 90th minute with a strike from Rowlin Borges, but the 6th minute of added on time saw IshanPandita score his third of the season, helping the defending league champions clinch a point for the fifth game running.
Juan Ferrando named two changes to the starting line-up, with injury concerns forcing the Spaniard to rule out Ivan Gonzalez and Princeton Rebelloto start from the get go. In came James Donachie and Glan Martins, with the latter starting his first game in FC Goa colours.
After a cagey start to the game, Mumbai got their noses ahead thanks to Hugo Boumous in 20th minute. The Frenchman found space on the counter attack and did well to charge ahead before rounding Dheeraj Singh, the keeper and slotting the ball into the back of the FC Goa net.
The Islanders doubled their lead in the 26th minute thanks to an Adam Le Fondre header. Dheeraj in the FC Goa goal initially made a great save to deny Hernan Santana from close range after he rose highest from a corner. He, however, was unable to deny Le Fondre who headed in from the rebound.
Angulo nearly brought the Gaurs back into the game on the 36th minute. A brilliant ball from right wing by SeritonFernandes was met with a brilliant cushioned header from the Spaniard. Amrinder Singh in the Mumbai goal, though, was equal to the task as he flung himself to his left to affect the save.
Another 10 minutes on and FC Goa halved the lead and how! Glan Martins found space in the middle of the pitch and unleashed a missile from 31 metres out. The shot left a leaping Amrinder without a prayer before touching the underside of the post and nestling into the back of the net.
The comeback was complete five minutes into the second half. A cross from the left by Alberto Noguera found Angulo with space in the box and this time the Spaniard made no mistake in cushioning his header into the back of the net.
A gritty second half saw the two sides battle it out across every blade of grass on the pitch. And it looked like Mumbai would have the last laugh when Bores stabbed the ball in from close range in the 90th minute to claim all three points for the ‘home’ side.
The last twist in the tale, however, was reserved for the final minute of added-on time. EduBedia swirled in a brilliant ball from the right and dropped it on a pin for Pandita, who had come in just minutes earlier, to head in from close range and clinch a point for the Gaurs.
The result means FC Goa’s unbeaten run extends to nine games with the five draws in the last five games. They will now be back in action on February 14 to take on Chennaiyin FC. That game is slotted for a 7:30 pm kickoff.