Brighter skies for sky blues, Goa chasing shadows!

Brighter skies for sky blues, Goa chasing shadows-


The match began in the fortress called Fatorda stadium, FC Goa’s home, as Goan fans cheered “Come on, Goa!”


FC Goa had been invincible in that stadium last season. But this is a new season with revamped, rejuvenated teams, transfers and a new ball which by the way has a captivating design with red and blue stripes.
The sky was bluer for Mumbai City FC who donned their blue home kit(as technically it was their home fixture) and FC Goa were shadows of their former selves with their black kits.
Formations-
Buckingham’s MCFC lined up with a 4-2-3-1 against Juan Ferrano’s Goa who also lined up with 4-2-3-1.

Mumbai started the game slow, having won only 1 of last 6 of their games versus Goa.
As the game went on, we could see some connections between Cassio and ex-Athletic Bilbao, ex-Goa player Igor Angulo. Angulo was the Golden boot winner last year with 14 goals and was back on the hunt for more.
Some fun facts-
• Mohamed Nawaz is the keeper with most under 21 profiles.
• Bedia is almost an FC Goa legend, playing there for 5 years now!
• Both FC Goa And Mumbai City FC have a player named L Ralte. Mumbai’s physical, adept CDM’s nickname is Apuia and FC Goa’s dynamic defender’s nickname is Vapuia.
Standout players-
• The Gaurs’ Glan Martins was their fastest running player and tried to be the link from defence to attack. Edu Bedia showed flashes of brilliant technique, as GK Dheeraj was busy saving long range shots.
• In the Islanders’ case, the whole team put up a great performance. Cassio, the CAM connected well with Angulo. Ranawade made a crucial overlapping run, Bipin Singh was quick and tracked back umpteen number of times, which was important for numerical advantages in midfield. Rainier Fernandes was excellent on the ball, passing where nobody thought he would. He’s the player I look forward to watching the most. Cassio’s fellow Brazilian replacement Ygor Catatau scored in his first match with his first touch and within his first minute outside South America. Last but not the least, the poacher who got poached(not actually), Igor Angulo scored two.

Underwhelming players:
• Goa overall were shaky and sloppy.
• Ortiz, Airam, the strikers in FC Goa didn’t finish what they got on a plate.

Important Events:
• Vignesh, MCFC’s Left Back ran like a thunderbolt in his sky blue jersey. He ran from near the half line into the box, only to be left foul and limping due to a tackle from behind by Leander D’ Cunha. Everyone thought it was a clear penalty but it wasn’t given. Another instance which shows the need for Video Assistant Referee. Vignesh was subbed later, as he left limping. This penalty not given
• Then, as time passed, Mumbai started pressing high. That’s where they didn’t give Goa space. What didn’t help was the fact that FC Goa’s wingbacks weren’t helping in their buildup. So they looked like 2-2-2-3-1.

• It was a pretty equal game till 32’ when Raynier gave a pass to an overlapping Ranawade to crossed it to Cassio. He blocked the ball and was pushed. Albeit a soft one, it was a penalty. Igor took the run up and blasted into the top right corner.

• Raynier Fernandes was getting fired up as 3 minutes later, he received a pass from the defence, dribbled between two Goa players and gave a perfect pass to Angulo who finished it with a left foot toe shot!
• It was 2-0 and Goa’s confidence was wavering. Their defence kept on making errors throughout the game. Even the forwards couldn’t finished a few easy chances as Mumbai’s defence made blunder.
• Apuia was a good physical presence in midfield, and after Goa were intimidated by 2 goals, and Mumbai had a sumptuous chance. Raynier had set the bar high with his assist, and hit the bar with his powerful shot!
• Mumbai’s defence was very slow at progressing the ball at times but I could pick out their wing changing aerial passes.
• Then again near half time pressing by Mumbai reduced as they let Goa buildup in their half.
• Cassio, the fastest player on the pitch was substituted for Ygor Catatau who showed his South American grit, toughness and technique in his dribbling, passing, and finishing.
• Angulo had smelled blood and wanted more, a hattrick. Sadly, FC Goa were on the front foot in second half and he couldn’t score. But so couldn’t Goa!
Overall-
• Mumbai Des-troyed FC Goa 😏. They pressed high, choked Goa and went up the pitch. They played with positivity and played boldly till the last minute.
• Goa panicked, and although they improved their performance in the second half, they made countless errors. They have to improve to do better in the league, especially with an astute tactician like Juan Ferrando!

By Omkar Barve

SPORTSNASHA

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