ISL 2020-21: Will FC Goa feel handicapped against Mumbai City?

ISL 2020-21: Will FC Goa feel handicapped against Mumbai City?

Juan Ferrando will be missing the services of Alberto Noguera and Ivan Gonzalez in the first leg of the semi-finals against Mumbai City…

FC Goa played out their 10th draw against Hyderabad FC on Sunday to make it to the semi-finals of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL).

Credit must be given to the coach of the Goan side, Juan Ferrando, for managing his squad efficiently this season. To an extent, there’s always been someone who has stepped up when it mattered the most.

In what initially started with Igor Angulo dominating the goalscoring department, others such as Jorge Ortiz slotted in with six strikes as did Ishan Pandita who scored four late equalisers, building a reputation as a super sub. Devendra Murgaonkar, Alexander Romario, Alberto Noguera, Redeem Tlang, Ivan Gonzalez (2) all contributed as well. 

What will Goa be missing on Friday?

However, the pair of Noguera and Gonzalez, who have been pivotal figures in the Guars’ race to the play-offs, are set to miss their side’s semi-final first leg clash against Mumbai City on Friday.

Noguera initially had to battle for his place in the first 11 but started in Goa’s last 10 straight games as the duo or Ortiz and Brandon Fernandes faced injury concerns. But Noguera saw red in the goalless draw against Hyderabad. While Gonzalez accumulated four yellow cards after making one of the most crucial goalmouth interceptions in injury time in the same game.

Involved in nine goals this season, Noguera currently leads the assists chart (8) – some of which contributed towards late equalisers and winners such as in the 2-1 win over Hyderabad in the reverse fixture and in the 2-2 draw against Chennaiyin FC earlier in February. He is also the top 10 with 91 tackles and is one of the 15 midfielders with over a thousand (1,143) touches that signifies the impact he has had so far.

At the back, Ivan has been a key figure, leading the Goa backline efficiently. He also doubled up on the flanks in the last couple of games, in the absence of Seriton Fernandes who is also a doubt for the next game.

Seriton has also been instrumental whenever Ferrando’s men have looked to counter from the flanks. Missing the likes of Noguera, Ivan and Seriton will be a handicap for the Goan outfit against a potent Mumbai City team.

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