Mumbai City will have revenge and final spot on their minds when they take on FC Goa for the first leg of the Indian Super League (ISL) semifinals on Saturday. The other first-leg play-offs was won by NorthEast United, who edged out Bengaluru 2-1 in Guwahati.
Mumbai have been beaten twice in the league stage this season by Goa, 5-0 thrashing the first time, followed by 2-0 loss. Goa have kept seven clean sheets against Mumbai over the course of five seasons.
Jorge Costa’s side now go into the semifinals with redemption on their minds. “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 have learnt from it,” Costa said, ahead of the first leg.
Mumbai have relied heavily on Senegalese striker Modou Sogou, who has been crucial in their journey to the top four. Sogou, who has scored Mumbai’s highest tally of goals in a single season at 12, will be crucial in Saturday’s clash against a confident Goa.
Meanwhile, Goa have shown an impressive attacking brand of football and will go into the play-offs with confidence, making their second semifinal appearance under Sergio Lobera.
The second-placed Goa have scored 36 goals in just 18 games, with Ferran Corominas scoring 15 of them. The Spanish striker, who is hoping for his second consecutive Golden Boot award, has led Goa’s charge. Apart from Corominas, Goa will bank on central midfielder Edu Bedia, who has seven goals to his name.
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,” he said.
Despite boasting prolific attackers in Corominas and Sogou, the two semifinalists also hold the joint second-best defensive records this season, conceding 20 goals each in their last 18 clashes.