The Islanders came up short against Hyderabad in their game on Matchday 2 of the ISL 2021-22 season.

Mumbai City FC sputtered after a comprehensive start to their title defence, in their 3-1 loss to Hyderabad FC on 28th November. After Ahmed Jahouh got the ball rolling in the sixth minute, Hyderabad quickly found their feet through a Joao Victor penalty in the 13th minute. The equalizer laid the premise for a good comeback against a shaky Mumbai defence, as Bartholomew Ogbeche finished off Hyderabad’s flowing move emphatically with a well-placed shot in the 53rd minute. 19-year-old Rohit Danu scored on only his sixth start, as Hyderabad rounded off their goals tally for the night in the 82nd minute.    

Des Buckingham cut a disappointed figure on the touchline, as one of the youngest head coaches in the ISL expressed his thoughts on the scoreline in his post-match conference:   

Whether scoreline was expected

Des Buckingham was satisfied with his team’s display, but asked for more as Hyderabad FC beat the Islanders for the first time in ISL history, scoring three goals in the process. As noted, the Mumbai City coach did expect a gritty Hyderabad side, but not the score at the end of the final whistle.  

“I didn’t expect this scoreline. I expected the tough game from a very good Hyderabad team and that’s a certainty, I think what we got, you know. I thought it was a very even game and at half-time at 1-1, I thought it was pretty fair. Then we’ve had a large proportion of the game in terms of possession and passes in the second half and creating our own chances, but Hyderabad have taken theirs and that’s decided the game,” replied the Des Buckingham.  

On what went wrong after taking lead

Mumbai City comfortably began the game with a lead in the sixth minute through Ahmed Jahouh, but quickly conceded in the 13th minute, courtesy of a silly challenge from winger Bipin Singh on Hyderabad forward Joel Chianese.  

“Again we had a lot of possession, we just needed to be more effective, (and) a little bit calmer around the edge of the box as well as to create the chances we want to create. The game got quite transitional at points, with a lot of fouls for both the sides, becoming a little broken, I wouldn’t say anything went wrong, it’s just that Hyderabad took their chances and we didn’t, ” explained Des Buckingham.

On regrouping for upcoming match against ATKMB

Mumbai ride their patchy streak to a buoyant ATK Mohun Bagan who defeated Kerala Blaster 4-2 in their first game and followed it up with a soild 3-0 win against rivals SC East Bengal in the first Kolkata Derby of the season. Asked how difficult the replay of last season’s ISL finals will be, the Mumbai City head coach had a composed reply.

“It won’t be difficult for us and we didn’t get carried away last week when we won our first game and everyone didn’t get carried away losing this one. So, we prepare the players in some way and we look forward to that game,” reassured Des Buckingham. 

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