FC Goa recovered from a slow start and from being pegged back by a Rafael Bastos goal in the 20th minute to put daylight between itself and Mumbai City in the tie with a 5-1 victory in the first leg at the Mumbai Football Arena. Mourtada Fall moved from central defender to wrecker-in-chief with two headed goals off corner-kicks. Jackichand Singh converted a rebound and Ferran Corominas and Brandon Fernandes also got on the scoresheet for the visitor on a difficult night for Jorge Costa and his men.
FC Goa fans in the stands demanded seven and while that didn't materialise, the visitor took advantage of poor defending by Mumbai. The teams face-off again the second play-off game in Goa three days later.
Referee Hamad Ali had booked Arnold Issoko early for a dangerous kick at Carlos Pena, followed by a caution. The Congo player also made his presence felt in the rival half with a cross from the right towards the target but Naveen Kumar, composed under the bar for most part, collected the ball calmly. He had an answer for any aerial attempt by the home team, including stylishly tipping over a Paulo Machado free-kick.
Mumbai City went ahead in the 20th minute, with Arnold Issoko putting in a delightful cross for Rafael Bastos to convert from close range.
FC Goa seemed to have been given a wake-up call by Bastos' goal and just 11 minutes later it drew level through Jackichand. Ferran Corominas, from a central position just outside the box, tested Amrinder Singh. And the Mumbai City goalkeeper and captain failed to deal with the effort and Jackichand, lurking in the six-yard box, thumped home the rebound.
Fall scored with two headers with Mumbai struggling to defend from set-pieces and open play as the match wore on. In between Fall's headed goals, Jackichand, who was the driving force for the away team, crossed for Corominas to head home at the backpost. Brandon Fernandes added a fifth in the 82nd minute to put FC Goa in complete control of the tie.