Having tasted their maiden victory of the season in their previous game, Mumbai City FC would look to build up a winning momentum when they take on table leaders FC Goa in their Indian Super League football clash at the D Y Patil Stadium on Sunday.
India captain Sunil Chhetri twice found the mark in the convincing 2—0 win over Delhi Dynamos on October 21 to give marquee player-cum-coach Nicolas Anelka plenty to cheer about ahead of tomorrow’s clash against the Goa franchise.
Mumbai have garnered four points from four matches to occupy last on the league table and a victory on Sunday would take them to at least to the fifth spot in the eight—team table.
The clash against Goa will be Mumbai’s third successive home and they had lost the first against Chennai before reversing the trend in the next against the Delhi franchise.
While Chhetri’s goal-scoring efforts were commendable, he could not have accomplished it without the help of Haitian Sony Norde, who was brilliant with his balls skills and distribution, and the re-jigged midfield.
Anelka, who performed his role well in the dug-out, would be expecting another top-draw combined show against the Goa side coached by Brazilian legend Zico.
FC Goa, with 10 points, shot to the top of the table after a 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters at home and a clash between the two western India franchises on Sunday is expected to thrill the crowd in the Navi Mumbai venue.
Mumbai’s defence, backed up by seasoned custodian and captain Subrata Paul, held out well against the Dynamos and a repeat good show would be crucial to their fortunes in the tie.
Goa have scored eight goals so far in five games with medio Mandar Rao Desai and experienced Brazilian striker Reinaldo Da Cruz Oliveira scoring twice each.
Goa have conceded seven goals in five games so far, a very high margin, and this fact should encourage the Mumbai goal-poachers Chhetri, Norde and Subash Singh.
Chhetri said more than the goals he had scored, he was happy with the team’s approach and fighting spirit.
“We had to win the last game as we were under pressure.
More than the goals it was good to see everyone fight hard in the previous game and play as a unit. Thank god we got the result also. It’s important to keep it up,” he said.
Assistant coach Oscar Bruzon predicted a tough game against FC Goa.
“It’s a very tough game against table leaders. They are doing very good, but I saw in the last game they were losing a bit of freshness. We need to keep the momentum. Our team is one of the strongest. From tomorrow we want to be back on track,” said Bruzon.
Bruzon said the team combination against Delhi was good and he wanted the team to continue in the same vein.
“We formed the right combination for last game we need to form the right combination for next game too. I think the team performed very well.
“We want to be a tough team, play at maximum level. When we are attacking, we want to be fresh, sharp, quick, smart and with mobility and when defending we want to be compact, united, committed and tough,” Bruzon said.
FC Goa coach Zico said he was quite satisfied with his team’s display so far.
“I am satisfied with the team’s performance, very different from last year at this stage of the tournament. I do not know how many points we had. My team is doing great and we want to carry on this way,” said the Brazilian.
Talking about his side’s 0—4 loss against Chennai, Zico said, “It was not designed that way against Chennai; it could have been 4—2, one goal was disallowed and a penalty was not given to us. We are doing good work and I am happy with my players.”
He said his team’s aim was to play for a win through attacking football.
“We played with solid midfield and scored five goals. We had opportunities to score 5, 6, 7 goals against NorthEast United; our philosophy is the same, play attacking football,” he said.