Fatorda (Goa), Nov 22 (IANS) Defending champions Mumbai City FC beat FC Goa by a convincing 3-0 margin in their opening match of the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Monday.
Angulo (33′ P, 36′) scored twice under three minutes in the first half before Brazilian Ygor Catatau (76′) celebrated his ISL debut within minutes of stepping onto the pitch, closing the match for the City Football Group-owned club in their season opener.
Des Buckingham on his first match as Head Coach on Indian soil showed off Mumbai City’s summer signings in the starting XI. Apuia, Mohammad Nawaz, Rahul Bheke, and Cassio Gabriel all started alongside Angulo. FC Goa’s replacement for Angulo, Airam Cabrera led the line for the Gaurs. Brandon Fernandes remained unavailable for selection due to injury.
There was drama early on with Leander D’Cunha let off for what looked like a possible foul inside the box for tripping down Vignesh Dakshinamurthy. The Mumbai City wing-back had to be subbed off in pain.
The game opened up after the half-hour cooling break. Gabriel received a cross with Ivan Gonzalez looking to clear. He brought himself between the ball and the FC Goa player and Ivan’s mistimed tackle led to a penalty kick.
Angulo converted the spot-kick with glee, beating old teammate Dheeraj Singh, who otherwise had a decent night.
Minutes later, it was time for Raynier Fernandes to turn provider. A sharp turn in midfield led to the ball being played through for Angulo. The Spaniard took a deft touch, rushed past the defenders, and shot fiercely as the ball went into the net past Dheeraj’s right.
Mumbai City could have had a third before the break only for Raynier’s shot to be stopped by the crossbar. Big-money signing Apuia controlled the midfield with ease.
Juan Ferrando turned to his bench as he got in Nongdamba Naorem in the second half. Captain Edu Bedia almost halved the deficit with a half volley that flew over the bar.
Cassio Gabriel was the star of the second half with his industrious invasions inside FC Goa’s box. Ygor Catatau then came off the bench to nod in a free-kick sent in by Ahmed Jahouh, sealing the deal.
Mumbai City seem to be ready for a march in their title defense while FC Goa would like to quickly get over the defeat as they entertain Jamshedpur FC next Friday.