Mumbai City clinch ISL League Shield after 5-3 win over FC Goa

Margao, 11 Feb: Mumbai City FC beat FC Goa 5-3 in a thrilling match to clinch the ISL League Shield with two matches in hand here on Saturday.
FC Goa were determined not to make Mumbai’s title charge easy, trying to beat them with their own attacking method. They found success with this approach as early as in the fifth minute.
A long free kick found its way to Noah Sadaoui, who dodged past three defenders and found the target to put FC Goa ahead.
But the league leaders weren’t quiet for long. In the 18th minute, they were gifted a free kick just outside the box in a central position. Greg Stewart stepped up and hit a powerful left-footed shot to Dheeraj Singh’s near post to beat his outstretched right hand.
Both teams continued to push forward and looked shaky in defence, and in a four-minute span before the break, the game exploded into life.
In the 40th minute, Diaz was found with a good low delivery from Lallianzuala Chhangte on the right and hooked the ball from the floor to put the Islanders in front.
Their joy was short-lived, as FC Goa caught them out with a long ball again. Sadaoui turned creator, finding Brandon Fernandes’ run with a lob over the defence to put him one-on-one with Phurba Lachenpa. Fernandes made no mistake with his first touch and the hosts were level again.
But Stewart was on hand again to put Mumbai City FC in front with his second free-kick of the game, this one a more gentle curling effort that bounced off the post into the goal.
In the second half, Mumbai City FC tightened up to nullify FC Goa, forcing the home side to take risks going forward, which helped Chhangte in particular to come into the game.
In the 71st minute, the winger found space for a cross which was handled in the box by Anwar Ali. He stepped up to take it himself to get to double-figures in the season and put the game beyond FC Goa.
By the 77th minute, the Islanders had both Chhangte and Stewart off the pitch, but the substitutes ran circles around FC Goa anyway.
From a corner, Mourtada Fall headed the ball into Vikram Pratap Singh’s path in front of the goal, and he flicked it in to make it 5-2. (PTI)