FC Goa will be a step away from being the fourth club from Goa – first from Indian Super league (ISL) –to represent India in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League if they defeat Mumbai city FC in their last home match of Indian Super League (ISL) 6 at Nehru stadium Fatorda today.
FC Goa is on 33 points, four more than third-placed Bengaluru FC but is on terms with ATK who occupies the top spot due to a superior goal difference. FC Goa has a head-to-head disadvantage against ATK and therefore cannot afford to drop any more points in their final two games.
FC Goa’s win will leave Bengaluru FC with no hopes of finishing at the top and thus make the contest to finish at the top a straight fight against ATK.
A win for Mumbai City FC will leave them level on points with Bengaluru FC and the contest for the AFC Cup qualifying play off open between Mumbai City FC, Bengaluru FC and the second best team between FC Goa and ATK.
FC Goa played charged up against Hyderabad FC and despite the visitors being the last in the table , the hosts rose to heights with a display that has been building from the start and today’s performance against Mumbai could well see the simmer of a climax that has been gradually built up by former coach Sergio Lobera.
Sergio is out but the spirit instilled in the team still hangs in the dressing room and FC Goa now led by Technical Director Derrick Pereira will need to maintain the momentum against Mumbai City FC that is on resurgence in the last stages of the league.
FC Goa has qualified for the knock outs but pride come from finishing first and, being able to represent ones country, which will be Derrick’s focus when Mumbai City FC is inviting into the gaurs den for the last meal of ISL 6.
The Indian flavour has shown smatterings of better display with captain Mandar Rao Desai , Lenny Rodrigues and Seriton Fernandes showing variance in their game ; being more proactive and in the bargain creating more opportunities to score. But, the reigns are still with the foreign players.
Hugo Boumous is holding the fort and how he and Ferran Corominas (Coro) weave past the Mumbai City FC defense will prove the outcome of the evening.
Mumbai City FC knows that a win will not give them a
whiff of the title but keep them in contention for the prize money and will
therefore leave no stone unturned to change the FC Goa narrative. However,
Amine Chermiti , their main trouble make in front of goal , will not be
playing as he is serving a suspension- four yellow cards.
Modou Sougou and Diego Carlos will carry the responsibility of scoring with Raynier Fernandes and Souvik Chakrabarti providing the ammunition.
Rowllin Borges from Goa has played a central role in the team’s progress this season and his approach could determine the sway. Rowllin will need to carry the onus on his shoulder with the absence of Paulo Machado who has been sidelined for the rest of the season due to an injury.
Mumbai City FC lost to FC Goa 2-4 in their home game in ISL 6 but the team has beaten Bengaluru FC 3-2 and Jamshedpur FC 2-1, who was the only team to defeat FC Goa at home 1-0 this season. Mumbai City plays its last match against Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa plays Jamshedpur FC away.
History is for pundits and the future is for prophets. The last ISL league match between FC Goa and Mumbai City appears set to end up as a cracker for football fans in Goa – a lot of goals with either the shares being spoilt or one team ending a winner.