Mumbai City FC twice came from behind to play out a thrilling 2-2 draw with FC Goa in their Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final first leg clash on Friday.
Igor Angulo's penalty helped FC Goa break the deadlock in the 20th minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. 18 minutes later, Hugo Boumous waltzed past three FC Goa players to restore parity.
Mumbai City FC once again found themselves trailing after Saviour Gama restored the Gaurs' advantage in the 59th minute. But FC Goa's lead was short-lived as Mourtada Fall headed home to make it 2-2 just two minutes later.
The referee for the game, Pranjal Banerjee, turned down two penalty appeals by the FC Goa players, despite replays confirming the opposite. In the dying embers of the match, Mourtada Fall lunged into a two-footed tackle on Princeton Rebello. But the towering Mumbai City FC defender only received a yellow card.
When asked if Mumbai City FC were lucky to come away with a draw, the Islanders' head coach Sergio Lobera replied:
FC Goa missed the services of Ivan Gonzalez, who was suspended, while Seriton Fernandes limped off the field in the 34th minute.
Mumbai City FC played four attacking foreign players - Hugo Boumous, Adam Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche, and Ahmed Jahouh - in their midfield and attack combined. The idea was to exploit the weakened FC Goa defense.
With Amey Ranawade suspended, everyone expected former Kerala Blasters defender Mohamad Rakip to play as the right-back. But Mumbai City FC coach Sergio Lobera surprisingly deployed regular left-back Mandar Rao Dessai in that position.
The Indian international had a poor outing and even conceded a penalty, which led to FC Goa scoring the first goal of the game. Just before the half-time whistle, Mandar clipped the legs of Jorge Ortiz Mendoza once again. However, the referee failed to spot the infringement.
Adam Le Fondre, who normally plays as a striker, was deployed as a right-winger to accommodate Bartholomew Ogbeche upfront. Sergio Lobera defended the duo's performance against FC Goa.
Mumbai City FC and FC Goa will lock horns again in the second leg of their ISL semi-final clash on Monday.