Mumbai City FC settle for a 0-0 draw against FC Goa

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai: Mumbai City FC settled for their third consecutive stalemate in the Hero Indian Super League when the hosts were held to a 0-0 draw by FC Goa at the D.Y. Patil Stadium here on Monday evening.

The team, co-owned by Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor and Chartered Accountant Bimal Parekh, dominated the proceedings throughout the 90 minute encounter but were denied three points by the crossbar and profligacy of their strikers.

The draw took Mumbai City FC’s points tally to 12 points from nine outings and the team remains in fifth spot in overall standings while FC Goa are seventh with nine points.

Just like the last encounter between the two teams, the game was a battle of attrition in the midfield and Mumbai City FC had the better of the exchanges from the start.

The hosts, who now have maintained five clean sheets, went into the match with an aggressive game plan and coach Peter Reid opted for a 4-4-1-1 system with fit-again Andre Moritz sitting behind lone striker Nicolas Anelka.

The strategy worked very well for the hosts as the team controlled play throughout the first half and came up with at least half a dozen moves that had the potential of finding the opening goal,

The first came within five minutes when Anelka’s outstretched leg managed to connect to a cross too well and the ball sailed over the crossbar after a mistake in the FC Goa defence.

Subhash Singh and Lalrindika Ralte also had the opportunity to get their name on the scoresheet but the former pulled his shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat in the 20th minute and FC Goa custodian Jan Seda came up with a superb low dive to keep out Dika’s left-footer.

In between these two chances, FC Goa could have taken the lead against the run of play but an alert Subrata Pal managed to parry Gabriel Fernandes’ shot.

The second half continued with the same script and it looked like Mumbai City FC had found that illusive goal when Moritz’s strike from outside the box went past an outstretched Seda, only for the ball to rebound off the woodwork in the 82nd minute.

FC Goa could have took the lead against the run of play when Tolgay Ozbey’s low strike hit the post three minutes later and Pal had to come up with a couple of good saves in the last few minutes to maintain the status quo.
Coach Peter Reid was satisfied with the final result and said he would any day take a draw as against a defeat. “We prefer draws to losing. It is better to draw than lose a match as it shows that we are a tough team to beat. The positive thing is that we created a lot chances but unluckily we could not convert them. We will work a bit on it before the next game.”

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