Mumbai to take on Goa, Bagan face NorthEast in ISL semis

Goa hold Hyderabad to 0-0 draw, through to ISL playoffs ( credit : ISL)

Margao (Goa), Feb 28 (IANS) Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera will face his former team FC Goa in the two-legged semifinal of the Indian Super League (ISL) while ATK Mohun Bagan will go up against NorthEast United.

Mumbai, who beat ATK Mohun Bagan 2-0 to win the ISL League Winners’ Shield on Sunday, face Goa in the first leg on March 5 at the Fatorda Stadium. This will be followed by NorthEast and Mohun Bagan’s first leg tie on March 6 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.

Mumbai will play Goa in the second leg on March 8 at the GMC Stadium after which Bagan will take on NorthEast at the Fatorda Stadium on March 9.

The ‘away goal’ rule will not apply in the semifinals this season. Teams with the highest goal aggregate in their respective two-legged ties will progress to the final which will be held at the Fatorda Stadium on March 13.

That concluded an excellent all-round game for the Lions, who were defending the title they won the last time the competition was played in the 2018-19 season. There was no event last year due to Covid-19 while this year’s edition was held in a bio-secure environment (BSE) in this coastal city.

The two sides, which shared the Momentum One-Day Cup title a few weeks ago in Potchefstroom, were the best teams of the week after finishing first and second during the round-robin phase of action.

The top side, the Dolphins, were favourites heading into the game, but their batting turned disastrous at the Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium.

Three of their top four batsmen — Sarel Erwee (0), Ruan de Swardt (2) and David Miller (2) — fell for single-digit score, leaving their side on 14 for three inside the first five overs.

Even though Grant Roelofsen (20) kept his wicket intact at the other end, free scoring was proving to be difficult. They reached 44 for four at the halfway stage, before losing Khaya Zondo (24) in the 13th over.

Rabada then took out Mangaliso Mosehle (18) and Keshav Maharaj (1), with Robbie Frylinck (30 not out) left to battle it out all alone at the death — his team setting just 108. Apart from the fast bowler, Sisanda Magala collected two for 19, Bjorn Fortuin bagged one for 19 and Beuran Hendricks nabbed one for 29.

The Dolphins needed early wickets to have a chance, but they did not get that as the Lions raced to 25 for none inside three overs.

Ryan Rickelton was eventually dismissed for three by Keshav Maharaj (1/22), but Temba Bavuma (22) and Hendricks continued to keep them on top.

Both fell in quick succession, together with Rassie van der Dussen (3) and the promoted Rabada (1) to leave the hosts at 80 for five.

But Wiaan Mulder (24 not out) kept his cool to finish the job for Wandile Gwavu’s side.

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