Match Report: FC Goa 0 – 0 Mumbai City FC

FC Goa met Mumbai City FC today with the hope of finally letting go of their fear of heights and hugging the bottom of the league standings. They had a good chance as well because they were playing at home. Mumbai City FC, on the other hand, had a chance to claim second position in the standings with a win. Neither of them managed to achieve their goal as they both ended tying in a drab match without scoring a single goal.

The First Half Begins

FC Goa vs. Mumbai City FC

FC Goa vs. Mumbai City FC

The first ten minutes of the game were highlighted by a penalty shout for Mumbai City FC through Andre Moritz but it was denied. The second notable event was also from Mumbai City FC but it was a negative one. Narayan Das flew into a Goan player with studs up and both his feet off the ground.

The referee made the wrong call and plucked out a yellow card from his pocket when he should have flashed the red one. A correct decision could’ve changed the game in favour of FC Goa but it would’ve also ruined the entertainment factor. I don’t know what I would have preferred between a fair call from the referee or a fun match. I’m glad I don’t have to make such decisions.

What’s That? A Cooling Break

At 32 minutes, the teams broke off their sparring for 90 seconds’ worth of drinking. Not the happy drink but the refreshing drinks. I know some of you don’t know the difference between the two.

Here’s a titbit about drinks breaks in football. The first World Cup drinks break or cooling break was held in the 2014 World Cup between Netherlands and Mexico. There was a cooling break in each half. The cooling break becomes relevant when the temperature is above 32 degrees Celsius. Cooling breaks in football are clear signs of global warming. Football players in the years gone by didn’t ever need cooling breaks and today’s players are much fitter than them.

Is Gregory A Striker Or A Defender For FC Goa?

Gregory, FC Goa

Gregory, FC Goa

FC Goa had a good chance to take the lead from a right sided corner. The ball was floated in and found Gregory free in the middle of the box. He followed the conventional wisdom and headed the ball down into the ground but forgot the basic element of directing it at the goal.

He almost regretted it later when Mumbai City FC had the ball in the net via Subhash Singh. The goal was called off because the Mumbai player was offside.

The ball came to him after a run from the midfield but the pass was delayed just a bit too much and by the time it was released Subhash was offside by a whisker.

The Second Half – Mumbai City FC Get Dominated

Stohanzl, Mumbai City FC

Stohanzl, Mumbai City FC

In the second half, FC Goa flew out of the traps with some nice passes. Unfortunately, as has so often been the case with the Indian Super League, the end product was missing after wonderful build-ups.

Such is the paucity of striking options in FC Goa that their most potent attacking option is their central defender, Gregory. It was Gregory who, at 50 minutes, came close to scoring his third goal of the tournament. His strong header hit the crossbar and came back out. FC Goa were in the ascendency as they created another chance when Tolgay Ozbey let fly from outside the box. He missed by inches. Mumbai City FC responded through Didika but also from outside the box. His shot was interesting as it worried the FC Goa keeper a little. They created another chance with a loft over the FC Goa defence but Subhash failed to connect with the ball before the FC Goa keeper.

Doesn’t Stohanzl seem like the offspring of Arjen Robben and Thomas Graveson? They almost played together for Real Madrid. Graveson was with the Galacticos between 2005 and 2006 while Robben played for the team between 2007 and 2009. Playing together would have been clearer evidence but still… Hmmm… Interesting…

Hot Pink Blocks All FC Goa Attacks

FC Goa then came very close to giving a penalty. The foul happened just outside their box. Nicolas Anelka took it. He got the aim right but there wasn’t enough power in it to beat the keeper.

In the final minute, FC Goa came close again through a corner. The corner came in, bouncing on the floor, and the defenders failed to deal with it. It took the keeper in HOT PINK to keep it from entering his net. The colour was clearly working for him because he made another save from a diving header.

FC Goa dominated the last few minutes of the game but they couldn’t break through. The final score – FC Goa 0 – 0 Mumbai City FC. They kept lacking the crucial ball and finish in the final third. How many times have you heard that about FC Goa already? I wonder why FC Goa don’t play like this for whole games. I wonder why they seem to wake up at the end of games. I believe it has to do with their defensive strategy. What do you think? Care to share, your thinking fair?