Mumbai City FC held their nerve to clinch a thrilling win in penalty shootout against FC Goa in the second leg of the ISL 2020-21 semifinal, at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
The League Shield winners edged the Gaur 6-5 in penalties after the two teams were locked goalless in the regulation and extra time. The first leg of the semifinal between the two heavyweights on March 5, was tied 2-2.
The first set of spot-kicks today, too, was tied at 2-2, but the Islanders prevailed in sudden death.
Goa brought on reserve goalkeeper Naveen Kumar while Mumbai raised some eyebrows when they decided to field Phurba Lachenpa in place of skipper and one of the best goalkeepers of the season, Amrinder Singh.
But, as it turned out to be, the Sikkimese custodian survived the battle of nerves, helping the Islanders book a place in the final for the first time.
With all to fight for in the second leg, this contest was always going down to the wire.
FC Goa remained in the ascendance with Mumbai failing to register a single shot on target in the entire game. The opening half proved to be a cagey affair with neither side able to assert their dominance.
The shootout initially looked to be headed Mumbai's way after Goa missed their first two penalties. But Mumbai then missed a couple, restoring parity. Finally, after Glan Martins had missed his kick, Rowllin Borges stepped up to drive home the winning penalty and sent his team to the final.
Mumbai will now meet the winners of the second semifinal tomorrow between ATK Mohun Bagan and NorthEast United FC, on March 13.
(With PTI inputs)