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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Mumbai City go top of table, Goa beat Kerala to secure first win of ISL season

Mumbai City notched up their third win in four games and their first-ever win over Odisha FC with goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche and Rowllin Borges.

By: PTI | Updated: December 6, 2020 10:25:36 pm
Bartholomew Ogbeche celebrating his goal from the spot. (ISL)

Mumbai City FC struck twice in the first half to beat Odisha FC 2-0 and register their third win in the Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Sunday.

A penalty from Bartholomew Ogbeche (30th minute) and a header from Rowllin Borges (45th) gave Sergio Lobera’s men their third win in four games and their first-win ever over Odisha in the league.

The win sent them to the top of the table. They are level on points with ATK Mohun Bagan but are placed above with a better goal difference.

For Odisha FC, this was their third loss in four games and only point-less SC East Bengal lie below Stuart Baxter’s side.

Mumbai predictably started the game spraying around passes and enjoying most of the ball possession.

But it was Odisha who had the first real chance of the match, in the fourth minute, when Diego Mauricio’s freekick clipped the top of the crossbar. But that was about as good as it got for Odisha in the first half.

Mumbai’s first clear-cut opportunity came in the 18th minute when Ahmed Jahouh found C Goddard down the right. Goddard only had keeper Kamaljit Singh to beat but his shot went over the bar.

Twelve minutes later though, Mumbai had their goal.

Vignesh Dakshina Murthy’s attempted cross from the edge of the box struck Shubham Sarangi’s hand and the referee promptly pointed to the dreaded spot.

Ogbeche stepped up and fired a low shot to the left, which a diving Kamaljit could not get his fingers to. It was the third penalty Odisha had conceded this season and the second mistake that Sarangi had committed, which had led to a goal.

Four minutes later, Mumbai thought they had scored again when Mourtada Fall headed in Jahouh’s freekick at the far-post. However, the referee disallowed the goal, adjudging that there had been a foul on keeper Kamaljit.

The Odisha goalkeeper, who fell awkwardly, was substituted after a suspected concussion and reserve custodian Ravi Kumar came on in his place.

Hugo Boumous missed a great chance to score in the 43rd minute, firing wide from Bipin Singh’s pass. But Mumbai had their second goal a couple of minutes later. Bipin, again, fired in a great cross into the box which Borges headed past Kumar.

Mumbai had ended the first period with 62 percent of the possession and the second half saw more of the same.

Odisha managed to create precious little, save a couple of free-kicks and a few corners. In the end, it turned out to be a comfortable win for Mumbai.

Angulo shines as FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters to secure first win of season

FC Goa clinched their first win of the ongoing Indian Super League season as they beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 at the Fatorda Stadium here on Sunday.

A brace from Igor Angulo (30th and 90th) and one from Jorge Ortiz Mendoza (52th) ensured Juan Ferrando picked up his first win as FC Goa head coach.

Vincente Gomez (90th) scored a consolation goal for Kerala Blasters.

Ferrando made two changes to the side that was held by NorthEast United as James Donachie and Alexander Jesuraj were included. Nishu Kumar, Gomez and Nongdamba Naorem returned to the starting eleven for Kerala.

The first big chance for the Gaurs arrived early on in the 10th minute when Mendonza beat Nishu to take control of a long ball and fired a shot from outside the box, only to see his effort hit the crossbar.

The home side came close to grabbing the lead once again seven minutes later, only to be denied by the upright.

A miscued pass from Rohit Kumar put Angulo through on goal. The striker, with only the keeper to beat, attempted to curl his shot into the bottom corner but it struck the far post.

However, Angulo soon made up for the missed opportunity around the half-hour mark as he put FC Goa ahead. Gama flicked the ball towards Angulo in the box and the striker delightfully placed it over Kerala goalkeeper Albino Gomes to bag his fourth goal of the season.

FC Goa returned hungrier after the break and continued to pile on the pressure. Their efforts soon bore fruit as they doubled their lead through Mendoza. The forward received the ball outside the box and traded a lovely one-two with Brandon Fernandes before burying his shot into the far corner.

Kerala Blasters pushed hard in search of a goal and came close to getting one in the 67th minute. Gomez won the ball inside the box but saw his shot rattle the underside of the crossbar.

Kibu Vicuna’s side threatened on quite a few occasions but were unable to find the back of the net. When a goal did arrive for them, the contest had already been settled in FC Goa’s favour.

Nishu whipped a cross for Gomez, whose header snuck into goal after brushing the underside of the crossbar.

Kerala Blasters captain Costa Nhamoinesu was sent off during the injury time after being shown a second yellow card, following a rash tackle on Princeton Rebello.

FC Goa added another goal late in injury time as Angulo pounced on a blunder from Gomez.

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