An Igor Angulo-inspired Mumbai City FC began its Indian Super League (ISL) title defence with a dominant 3-0 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Monday.
Angulo, who was deemed surplus to Goa towards the end of last season, returned to haunt his former employer with a quick-fire brace to assert Mumbai’s dominance against a shaky Goan defence. ISL newcomer Ygor Catatu added a late goal to give new Mumbai head coach Des Buckingham the perfect start.
Riddled with injuries, Goa head coach Juan Ferrando named a relatively inexperienced starting XI. To put things into perspective, Goa’s starting back-five had a combined ISL experience of 47 appearances to Mumbai’s 246 before today’s game.
HIGHLIGHTS: Mumbai City FC vs FC Goa: Islanders begin title defence with 3-0 win against the Gaurs
The Goan backline struggled to cope with Mumbai’s pressure off the ball and incisive passing. Goa also lacked ideas upfront and could manage only a shot on target, which came in the final quarter of the game.
While an early penalty shout was turned down, there was no reprieve the second time around, when Ivan Gonzalez barged down Cassio Gabriel inside the box. From the spot, Angulo slotted past Dheeraj Singh to put Mumbai ahead in the 33rd minute.
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Three minutes later, the Spaniard set himself up with a touch from a Raynier Fernandes pass before a toe-poked finish from the edge of the box caught Dheeraj unaware.
Raynier could have added a third before the break when a Lalhmangaihsanga mistake at the halfway line allowed the midfielder through on goal but his shot crashed against the crossbar.
Goa’s second-half additions Devendra Murgaonkar and Nongdamba Naorem combined well to fashion a chance for another substitute Jorge Ortiz, but he fired wide.
Mumbai City capped off a memorable night with a third in the 76th minute when Catatu headed home from an Ahmed Jahouh free-kick.