Indian Super League defending champions Mumbai City FC won their season opener under their new head coach Des Buckingham. The Islanders defeated FC Goa with a scoreline of 3-0. Igor Angulo who switched sides from Goa to Mumbai this summer transfer window bagged a brace in his debut in the new colors of Mumbai against his former side FC Goa. Mumbai City FC's new summer signing from Brazil Ygor Catatau scored their third goal. It didn't take more than two minutes for the loanee from Madureira Esporte Clube who have never played outside South America to open his account in the Indian Super League.
Joy for Des Buckingham
Mumbai City FC's new head coach Des Buckingham who recently joined the club replacing Sergio Lobera started his new adventure in India with a massive 3-0 win against FC Goa. The former Wellington Pheonix manager started the team with a 4-2-3-1 formation which was later changed to a 4-3-3 within the first quarter of the match with Bipin Singh and Cassio Gabriel (also known as Cassinho) supporting the lone striker Igor Angulo from the flanks.
The team didn't stop attacking even after having a two-goal advantage. In the second half when the Goa defense was looking more sloppy, Mumbai City FC started to utilize this opportunity and switched to a 4-2-4 formation. As Vikram Pratap Singh was brought onto the field to replace Reynier Fernandes and played an attacking brand of football.
Even though Buckingham's style of football had few similarities with Lobera's style, Mumbai under Buckingham in this match was a much different team than what we saw last season with a more concentrated game at the wings and two midfielders (Apuia and Jahou) who are given duties to help both defense and offense.
Pain for Juan
Juan Ferrando had a disappointing start to his second season with the club. FC Goa was unbeaten in their previous 15 matches in the ISL even though they lost on penalties in the second round of the semi-finals season which was technically a draw. The 3-0 defeat against Mumbai City FC made their unbeaten streak come to an end.
This was the first time since 2016 that the Gaurs lost their first match of the season in the ISL. Last season, James Donachie – Iván González partnership at the back was a very crucial element for FC Goa's success. Papuia who started the match along with Iván González couldn't fill the gap that Donachie left at the back.
The team looked very shaky and gave away the ball very often. The inexperience at the back gave was a big problem for Goa in this match. The Durand Cup winners gave away many fouls and looked a bit unmotivated in the second half. The Goan side are expected to learn and improve their mistakes and make a strong comeback in the upcoming fixtures.
Drama in the Box
Mumbai City FC left-back Vignesh Dakshinamurthy made a great run nearly from the half-line all the way to FC Goa's box by beating 3 opposition players. He was tackled down inside the box by FC Goa's Goa right back Leander D'Cunha. Shouts were raised for a penalty by the Mumbai City FC players but referee Arumughan Rowan stayed strong with his decision.
The tackle did not result in a penalty which was a sigh of relief for Leander and the entire team. As an after effect of the tackle, Vignesh who was immediately taken care of by the Mumbai City FC medical team was subbed off as he couldn't continue on the field and 21-year-old former Kerala Blasters FC right back replaced him.
Angulo opens his account
The 37-year-old Spanish striker Igor Angulo who never gets off the mood to score goals for whichever team he played opened his account with a brace in the first half of his first match in his second season in the Hero Indian Super League. The man from Bilbao converted the penalty which Mumbai City FC received as the result of Iván González's foul on Cassinho in the 33rd minute of the match.
Three minutes later, Angulo scored his second goal with a cheeky out-foot strike with his left foot that defeated the Dheeraj Singh and kissed the back of the net. This was the first time Angulo scored two goals within the first 45 minutes of a match in the ISL. He had a total of 3 shots on target in the first half among which he converted two and hit one straight to the faithful hands of Dheeraj. Angulo bagged home the man of the match award for his performance tonight.