Mumbai City FC become first finalists of ISL Season 7 with shootout win against FC Goa

According to a press release by Indian Super League, Mumbai City FC qualified for Hero ISL finals after edging FC Goa on penalties 6-5 at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim. The battle between the two favorites was so intense that it took ISL’s first-ever sudden death in a penalty-shootout to determine the first finalist of season 7. One of the biggest highlights of the sporting blockbuster was when both the coaches threw a surprise as they decided to substitute their goalkeepers when the contest headed into the penalty shootout. Goa banked on Naveen Kumar whereas Mumbai took everyone by amusement when they decided to field Phurba Lachenpa in place of captain and one of the finest goalkeepers of this edition, Amrinder Singh. However, the Sikkimese gloveman held on to his nerves, helping the Islanders book a spot in the final for the very first time. With everything at stake in the second leg, this game was always going down to the wire. FC Goa remained in the ascendance with Mumbai failing to register a single shot on target in the entire game. The opening half was a reticent affair with neither side being able to register their dominance. The top opportunity of the match came in the 27th minute for Goa, however Mumbai’s backline stood firm. Alberto Noguera beat his marker and paved his way into the box before hitting a shot at goal that was parried away by Mumbai keeper Amrinder Singh. The ball eventually came in the way of Redeem Tlang whose first-time effort was blocked by Amey Ranawade. In Spite of failing to test Goa keeper Dheeraj Singh, Mumbai missed out on a chance to open the scoring in the final stages of the first half post earning a free-kick in a tricky position. Hugo Boumous was found by Ahmed Jahouh outside the box whose effort blazed over the crossbar. Goa made a change during the break as Ishan Pandita came in for Redeem Tlang and the substitution fueled power in their attack as the Gaurs proved to be the better side in the second half. They created a huge chance just a few minutes after the restart. Alexander Jesuraj received Saviour Gama’s cutback and fired a shot that appeared to be heading to the net but Amrinder made an all important fingertip save, pushing the ball towards the post and out for a corner. Amrinder quickly made another smart save to deprive Goa. After Adil Khan blocked Adam Le Fondre’s effort, Goa made a quick counter-attack and Jesuraj drilled a low cross inside the box for Pandita whose diving header was kept out by the Mumbai custodian. Goa kept pushing for a winner and could have finished the match in injury time if James Donachie hadn’t missed a golden chance. Edu Bedia aimed his free-kick at the far post but the defender was unsuccessful to connect, missing the ball by inches. Mumbai were fortunate enough to not concede after an error, during the extra added time. Pandita sprung on a bad back pass from Hernan Santana but Amrinder extingued the danger in time. The shootout at the beginning appeared to be going Mumbai’s way with Goa missing their initial two penalties, but Mumbai then missed a couple, bringing parity. After Glan Martins missed his spot kick, Rowllin Borges drove home the winning penalty to take his side to the final.


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