ISL: Mumbai City eye revenge against FC Goa

Mumbai City

Mumbai: Having suffered two defeats against FC Goa in the league stage, Mumbai City FC would be thirsting for revenge when the two outfits clash in the first-leg semifinal of the Indian Super League (ISL) here on Saturday.

FC Goa had blanked Mumbai 5-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa in October, after which the Jorge Costa-coached Mumbai were unbeaten in nine games.

But again it was FC Goa who had snapped their unbeaten run when they defeated them 2-0 at the Mumbai Football Arena in February.

So when Mumbai take the field with the stakes higher, revenge will also be on their mind, but the hosts know well that they cannot afford to take the visitors lightly.

For the hosts, Modou Sougou has been the star performer having pumped in 12 goals so far. And a lot will depend on how the Senegalese fares in this key contest.

He, along with Arnold Issako of Congo who has six assists to his credit, form a lethal pair.

With a forward like Brazilian Rafael Bastos and an array of mid-fielders, including Sougou, Paulo Machado and Matias Mirabaje to bank on, Mumbai have a strong outfit.

With Romanian Lucian Goian and Subhasish Bose to man it, Mumbai also have a strong defence although it was breached rather easily previously on both the occasions by Goa.

This is an area they would like to tighten up.

The role of experienced custodian Amrinder Singh would also be crucial and he would be hoping to maintain a clean sheet.

Amrinder has been quite impressive in the tournament having 55 saves to his name.

Costa said his team has leant from the mistakes they have committed against Goa in the previous two games.

"We have to see the reality. We have lost two games against FC Goa. I hope there will be a different story tomorrow.

"We made mistakes in the two games against FC Goa but we've learnt from them," said Costa.

Goa have a lethal weapon in the form of Ferran Corominas, who is the leading goal-scorer in the league, having slotted in 15 goals.

If he is allowed to play as he wants, the Mumbai defence will have a harrowing time.

Apart from Corominas, Goa's hopes will also be pinned on the performance of Spaniard Edu Bedia, who plays as a central midfielder and has seven goals to his name.

Along with Bedia, Jackichand, Mandar Rao Dessai and Zaid Krouch are other mid-fielders for Goa.

The Goa defenders and custodian Laxmikant Kattimani also will have to be on their toes against the Mumbai attack with the home crowd behind it.

Goa's assistant coach Jesus Tato said his team needs to keep working on its strengths.

"The most important thing is our style of football. Of course, you have to take the opposition into account but we have to keep on working on what is our strength - our style," said Tato.

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