Mumbai City FC (MCFC) returned to the Indian Super League (ISL) top four after being temporarily replaced by Kerala Blasters with a 2-0 win over FC Goa at the GMC Athletic Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Mehtab Singh and Diego Mauricio secured three essential points for MCFC, taking its tally to 31 from 18 games -- one point more than the Blasters.

Goa began the match on the attack with Romario coming close to scoring twice in the eighth minute, but Mehtab produced a last-minute block to keep the scores level.

Mumbai City had a different foe to deal with on the attack – the goal post, with Des Buckingham’s side being denied by the woodwork twice in the first half itself.

Mumbai's night could have gone from bad to worse minutes later when a goalkeeping error by Mohamad Nawaz gifted Goa a penalty in the 17th minute. Nawaz, in an attempt to clear the ball, had missed it as Airam Cabrera tracked back and earned the spot-kick.

The left-footed Spaniard had taken 33 penalties before this and had missed just four times. Tonight it became five with Nawaz making a crucial save with his feet.

AS IT HAPPENED | ISL 2021-22 FC Goa 0-2 Mumbai City FC Highlights: Mauricio, Mehtab guide Islanders to victory

Mumbai City struck through Mehtab, who scored with his head in the 35th minute from a perfectly hit free kick in the box to put his side ahead.

The Islanders should have doubled their lead when another set-piece goal headed in by Igor Angulo off a Lallianzuala Chhangte free-kick was disallowed for a foul.

The replay, however, barely showed any testimony of the same as Angulo looked mortified on being denied his 11th goal of the season.

In the second half, Mauricio, who had replaced Angulo, made a late run into the box, turning with the ball and burying it into the net with a powerful shot off his right foot.


Diego Mauricio came on as a substitute and scored his first goal from open play and second in total for Des Buckingham side securing the win for MCFC.


The win reassured hopes for the defending champion to continue its pursuit for a semifinal spot, with it getting level on points with ATK Mohun Bagan (31).

MCFC will now need four points from the next two matches -- something it will need to remember against Kerala Blasters (March 2) and Hyderabad FC (March 5).

Goa, on the other hand, became the second team with the highest number of losses (9) tied with Chennaiyin FC this season so far.