ISL playoffs: Mountain to climb for Mumbai City at FC Goa

The task for Mumbai City FC chief coach Jorge Costa is to win the contest by a margin of five goals.

FC Goa won 5-1 at Mumbai City in the first leg on Saturday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

The FC Goa strike force creates pleasing passing patterns on the pitch, and in the process, it pushes rival goalkeepers into awkward positions. It is Mumbai City FC custodian Amrinder Singh’s turn to face the music under the bar, the second time in four days, during the Indian Super League season five play-off return leg at Fatorda’s Nehru stadium.

Forty-one goals in 19 games and counting, a foot in the final, is the home team’s treat for fans, who are expected to pack the stands.

FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera is not thinking of taking his foot off the pedal. “Ï approach this game with utmost respect, we are facing a great team. I don’t see us in the final yet, if we start doing that it will be a great mistake from our side. We have to be at our 100 per cent.”

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The Spaniard focussed on the work put in by his side in the three back-to-back wins against Mumbai (5-0, 2-0, 5-1) in season five. “The work done in the past is going to help us (in the second play-off). We should be working on the same path and try to win the next game. The team going to play is the best one I think which can win the game. We cannot think of the final because we are not there yet.”

The Mumbai goalkeeper-captain, at the receiving end of a 5-1 win for Goa, had kept a clean slate for 30 minutes during the first leg play-off. The situation went out of his control the moment a reflex dive and block off a blast by ISL Golden Boot leader, Ferran Corominas, landed at Jackichand Singh’s feet. The ball was tapped in before Amrinder could get up. The next four goals past him were executed with such finality that he will have nightmares visualising the next 60 minutes.

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The India international remains the first choice for Mumbai chief coach Jorge Costa, for whom the task ahead is to win by a margin of five goals. “In football and in life, you can never say (what will happen). In reality, it is very difficult to change this result. We need to play for our fans, because it is our job (to play),” he said.

Costa added: “I repeat my statement made before the first play-off that we are playing the best team in the competition. FC Goa taught us lessons (in the 5-1 win) and I am sure our players will learn from this experience and get better in matches to come.”