The first Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 semifinal between NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC lived up to the expectations of being a high octane contest between two top sides. It was the hosts NEUFC who had the ultimate laugh, winning a 2-1 victory over BFC.
The second semi-final clash the Mumbai City and FC Goa offers to be an equally capable entertainment package as the first one. The first leg of the fixture is slated to be played on Saturday at the Mumbai Football Arena.
The road to Semi Final
This will be the second time that Mumbai City will be competing in the ISL semi-finals, 2016 being the previous occasion. The Maharashtrian club started their ISL campaign on a poor note, winning only one of the first four matches. What was more worrying was the fact that they had conceded 8 goals in that duration. However, once they started winning games, there was no looking back.
Mumbai managed to stay unbeaten in a streak that lasted 9-match under Jorge Costa. Modou Sougou was the star player this time around, producing an incredible show for the club. Some of their memorable performances in the league included the 6-1 drubbing of Kerala Blasters, a 4-2 away victory over Delhi Dynamos, apart 2-0 win over defending champions Chennaiyin FC.
Although the end phase of the group stage was bitter (with defeats at the hands of Goa, Jamshedpur, NEUFC and Pune), they still managed to finish at third.
Media duties are in order later today for the boss ahead of the crucial first leg of the semi-final against @FCGoaOfficial! ?
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) March 8, 2019
In contrast, FC Goa had a smooth season except for some glitches here and there. The club got off to a dream start with 3-1, 5-0, and 4-2 victory respectively over Chennaiyin FC, Mumbai and Pune City FC. That set the tone for the Gaur’s season, winning ten of the matches besides drawing another four.
They have made a name for themselves for playing an attacking brand of football. Had it not been for an inferior head-to-head record against Bengaluru, they would have been at the top with a superior goal difference of 16. However, apart from goal-scoring, they have been capable at the back. Manager Sergio Lobera has made it sure that his Spanish tactics are effectively executed through Ferran Corominas and Edu Bedia.
This will be the fourth time in the last five seasons that Goa have made it to the semis.
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Team News
Mumbai City does not have any injuries or suspensions to worry for.
Tough challenges lie ahead but #TheIslanders are up for it! ??
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) March 7, 2019
Apart from Zaid Krouch, who is reported to have a muscle strain, FC Goa also doesn’t have any major injury scare. The Moroccan midfielder will probably not be available.
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Predicted Lineups
Mumbai City (4-2-3-1): Amrinder Singh, Lucian Goian, Saubhik Chakrabarti, Anwar Ali, Arnold Issoko, Subhasish Bose, Sehnaj Singh, Paulo Machado, Raynier Fernandes, Rafael Bastos, Modou Sougou
FC Goa (4-2-3-1): Naveen Kumar, Mourtada Fall, Carlos Pena, Serotonin Fernandes, Mandar Rao Desai, Ahmed Jahouh, Lenny Rodrigues, Jackichand Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Edu Bedia, Ferran Corominas
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Form
Mumbai City: L W L L L
FC Goa: W L W W D
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Head-to-Head
Mumbai City: 3
FC Goa: 4
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Predictions
The semi-final match, unsurprisingly, will be a very close contest with both the teams equally capable of winning.
Although Mumbai FC has the home advantage, FC Goa is a superior outfit on paper. The Gaurs have won both the group stage fixtures against Mumbai quite comfortably (5-0 and 2-0). Moreover, the form is also on their side. With a superior attack and a solid defence, FC Goa is expected to take the win the first leg.
Ready for a big night tomorrow! ?
— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) March 8, 2019
Predicted Scoreline – Mumbai City 1:2 FC Goa
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Schedule
Date: 9 March 2019
Kickoff Time: 7:30 PM IST
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Venue
Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai
Mumbai City vs FC Goa: Live Streaming
The semi-final between Mumbai City and FC Goa will be broadcasted by Star Sports Network. The epic battle will also be streamed live on Hotstar.