Goa take on league winners Mumbai City


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FC Goa face League Winners' Shield holders Mumbai City FC in the first leg of their Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final match at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday. This is the sixth time that Goa will be starting a campaign in the playoffs of the ISL.

Having qualified for the playoffs for the fourth-straight time, Goa will be confident of achieving their dream this time around. One of the most entertaining teams in the league, Goa -- along with NorthEast United -- are only behind Mumbai on goals scored.

Goa have form backing them, too, having been unbeaten in 13 games -- a feat no other side has managed in the history of the league.

"If we enjoy the game, we will have success. Sometimes there is pressure because everybody wants to win but for me, it's important our players want to play [our way]. I am scared when my team is not playing football [our way] because it's difficult to help the team. But all our players want to participate and stick to our style," said coach Juan Ferrando.

Goa will have their task cut out with Ivan Gonzalez and Alberto Noguera missing out due to suspensions. While Goa top the charts for possession (58 per cent), Mumbai (57 per cent) are not too far behind. Dominating possession has worked for Mumbai, who have netted a whopping 35 goals.

During the last meeting between the two sides, Ferrando had said that the pressure was on Mumbai to win the League Winners Shield. And having achieved that goal, Mumbai head coach Sergio Lobera will aim to prove a lot more to his former employers.

"I love when others speak about Mumbai City as a favourite team since they are thinking we are better than them. It's good for us. I love this pressure but we need to prove ourselves on the pitch," said Lobera.

Mumbai will be without Amey Ranawade (suspended) while Hugo Boumous returns after a four-match ban.

Source: IANS

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