After shrugging off the burden of two consecutive defeats, the Islanders picked up a mighty important win against the defending champions Bengaluru FC to bring back on track their shout for a spot in the ISL-6 playoffs. The Islanders now make their way to brand new territory to move one step closer.
Mumbai City FC make their bow in the City of Nizams for the first time ever and are up against a beleaguered Hyderabad FC. Action commences at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium here in Gachibowli tomorrow at 7.30pm.
After a pair of losses on the trot, the onus was on Jorge Costa’s side to bring their campaign back on track and the Islanders duly delivered. Modou Sougou and Amine Chermiti found the back of the net capitalising on an error-riddled performance by Carles Cuadrat’s side. With the result, Mumbai City FC kept a third clean sheet of the season, a first in over 10 games. The Islanders became the first side to do a league double over Bengaluru FC – one for the history books.
Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, have had very little to rejoice. The Nizams sit rock bottom of the pile with just five points and haven’t won in their last 10 games. Consequently, Phil Brown was relieved of his duties as the head coach by the ISL debutants and were swift to confirm the appointment of former Bengaluru FC boss Albert Roca. The Spaniard, however, will only take the reigns next season and will serve as a technical advisor for the remainder of the current campaign. Nevertheless, it will be a fresh breath of air for Marcelinho and co and a fresh start for the club who now are playing for pride.
The Islanders desperately needed the three points at the Arena last week to maintain pressure on Odisha FC and the rest of the pack. Jorge Costa’s side now arrive in Hyderabad knowing that a win will propel them back to where they want to be – in the top four, thanks to Bengaluru’s emphatic 3-0 win over Josep Gombau’s side.
On the players front, Serge Kevyn returns from suspension for the Islanders and has made the trip to Hyderabad with the traveling squad, while defender Dimple Bhagat will serve his time after seeing red against Odisha FC. Joining him in the list of absentees for the home side is Rafael Lopez who misses out with an injury.
Mumbai City FC head coach Jorge Costa said, “It’s a very important game for us. From the beginning of the season, we’ve retierated that we want to finish in the top 4. Now with very few games left, we cannot afford to make mistakes and lose points.”
Mumbai City FC midfielder Bidyananda Singh said, “Winning our last game has certainly given a boost of confidence to the entire team. We’ve prepared well and we’re ready to face Hyderabad FC.”
Mumbai City FC striker Modou Sougou said, “We need to be focused on the good things that we can do. We did the same against Bengaluru FC and all our efforts will be to repeat that performance against Hyderabad FC.”
The game will kick off at 7.30pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India.