Fresh from getting their hands on the ISL League Winners Shield, the Islanders are set for a new challenge – the big semifinal. Mumbai City will square off against FC Goa in the first of the two-legged semi-final of the Indian Super League. Sergio Lobera’s side will travel to the Fatorda for the designated ‘away’ leg of the tie on Friday, March 5.
The Islanders created history this past weekend, securing a 2-0 win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the final game of the league stage. Consequently, Sergio Lobera and his boys secured the top spot in the league, the club’s first-ever piece of silverware, and a spot in the Group Stage of the 2022 AFC Champions League. Two thumping headers from the duo of Mourtada Fall and Bartholomew Ogbeche in the first half were enough for Mumbai City to celebrate a momentous night in the Club’s seven-year history.
FC Goa were also subject to a final day league finish in the race to secure a spot in the semifinals. The Gaurs are currently on a league record 13-match unbeaten run, going past the record set by the Islanders earlier in the season after a 0-0 draw against Hyderabad FC on the final day of the league stage. Juan Ferrando’s side needed just a point to secure a spot in the playoffs and FC Goa duly picked up the needed point after a resolute display against the Nizams, who were chasing a win to displace FC Goa from the playoff spots.
The first 90 minutes of what promises to be a mammoth challenge awaits and Sergio Lobera insists that he and his ‘ambitious’ side are ready for it.
Hugo Boumous is back in contention for a place in the lineup against his former club. Amey Ranawade will, however, not be able to face his former employers missing out with a one-game suspension.
Ivan Gonzalez and Alberto Noguera face suspensions and will miss out on the action for the Gaurs tomorrow. Jorge Ortiz should return from injury to the starting XI for FC Goa after featuring in the dying minutes in their last fixture.
Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera said, “Obviously it’s a special game. We are in the semi-finals with a chance to win the trophy. We need to be smart and ready to play 180 minutes and tomorrow is the first step.”
Defender Mourtada Fall added, “We always believe (in ourselves). We need to manage these two games well and reach the final – that is our objective.”
The game will kick off at 7.30pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India.