Mumbai, Oct 26: After a humiliation that saw them lose 0-5 in their previous game, Mumbai City FC will look to get back into their game for the second time this season when they take on a struggling Delhi Dynamos in their Indian Super League (ISL) tie on Saturday (October 27).
Four games into the season, the Islanders are already looking at another uphill climb in the league. With a win, a draw and two losses to their name in the four games so far, Mumbai are placed seventh in the 10-team league. Delhi are no better as they occupy the eighth spot with three draws and a loss so far. Both the teams will know that nothing less than a win will help them on Saturday if they are to make a strong case for the playoffs.
Recovering from a morale-crushing defeat can be a difficult task, but the Mumbai head coach Jorge Costa sounded confident of his side’s chances against the Dynamos. “We made a lot of mistakes against FC Goa and hence lost 5-0,” he said during the pre-match press conference admitting his side’s flaws against Goa.
JC: "I won't comment on what has happened in the previous seasons. In the first game this season, we pushed more bodies in the end and conceded a late goal. It didn't happen in the second and third match, the fourth match I've already explained."#MUMDEL #ApunKaTeam— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) October 26, 2018
“It was a very good first half for us, the players did almost everything that I asked for. We had clear chances to score, five, six or seven opportunities in total. We didn’t do much in the last 30 minutes and conceded more. We absolutely cannot give up. We must be serious from the first till the last second. Professional football players have to be up to the mark.”
And, one can’t blame Costa for getting a point or two correct. If we keep that penalty goal in the opening half aside, Mumbai did put up a decent show in the first half before capitulating to the Goans.
Mumbai seemed to lack a spine against Goa, with their foreign recruits being completely outplayed by a tactical masterclass of Sergio Lobera. Forwards Modou Sougou, Rafael Bastos and Arnold Issko could barely get their act together, while the defence, led by a slow-looking Lucian Goian, was dismantled with ease.
On Saturday, Costa will hope that Goian can take charge of the backline, especially with first-choice goalkeeper Amrinder Singh ruled out to an injury. Meanwhile, Matias Mirabaje has been declared fit and could expect a cameo from him.
Challenging the Islanders at the Mumbai Football Arena will be their fellow league strugglers, the Dynamos.
The team from the capital city barely seems to have learned anything from their previous season debacles and a poor transfer window has reflected heavily on the team’s fortunes, this season. They have been too reliant on Lallianzuala Chhangte, Romeo Fernandes and Nandhakumar Sekar to deliver quality service to striker Andrija Kaluderovic, but for the ones who have seen these guys play, the below-par show is no surprise.
However, with midfielder Marcos Tebar back in the matchday squad, it would be interesting to see how Delhi lines up to tackle the Mumbai puzzle.
Match Starts at 7:30 PM (IST)