News Article

Guimaraes blames wasted chances, Popovic happy to win derby


The defeat in the Maha Derby put the Islanders in the bottom half of the table.

Mumbai City FC succumbed to a 2 – 0 defeat at the hands of local rivals FC Pune City in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. Diego Carlos and Marcelinho struck in either half as the Islanders lost their fourth home game on the trot. The result leaves their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs hanging by a thread and speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was Mumbai’s head coach Alexandre Guimaraes.

The Costa Rican explained what went wrong for his team. “Again, it is a story that we have always seen,” he said. “We played well, created a lot of chances, but for one reason or the another, we could not convert them. But when the situation came for them, they took their chances from the situation. In the second half, we had a great chance to draw, but we could not take it. Then we had to take risks, and they got another situation from which they scored.”

The 58-year-old admitted that the loss was hard to digest given they had found a flow to their game. “In the beginning, we missed too many balls in midfield and exposed our defence,” Guimaraes explained. “After that, we adjusted the game in the way we wanted to play. But in the end, you have to take your opportunities. We knew we had to do whatever we could to at least get a draw. But we lost, so it’s hard.”

However, Guimaraes still harbors hopes of making it to the playoffs if Mumbai win all their remaining matches. “We still have 12 points to play for,” he stated. “If we win the four games that we have, we can still have a possibility. Now, we have to think about giving our best, not make mistakes and we cannot even afford to draw.”

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FC Pune City outclassed local rivals Mumbai City FC by a 2 – 0 score-line in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. Diego Carlos and Marcelinho scored in either half as the Stallions consolidated second position in the league standings. Addressing the media during the post-match press conference was Pune’s head coach Ranko Popovic and he admitted that it was a tough encounter given he had changed the structure of his squad.

“We won, but it was not easy playing against them (Mumbai City FC),” the Serbian remarked. “We were playing against a very professional team. We had to change our composition, and for that we had to take risks. We put (Emiliano) Alfaro, our best striker on the bench and we still scored goals. This proved that we are a team. We play together and win together.”

The 50-year-old also singled out Marcelinho’s performance. “We are happy to have Marcelinho in our squad,” he stated. “He cannot do everything, but today he made a difference.”

Popovic also mentioned the mentality with which Pune approached the game. “The target was to keep the ball,” he revealed. “We know how dangerous they are. They have some fantastic and very deadly players who can decide the game. But the point was to play as a team and keep possession. Everyone has the same importance in the team.”

Finally, he also praised the atmosphere that came with the ‘Maha’ derby. “It is always nice to win such a game,” Popovic said. “This is obviously a derby. It is a fantastic ambience here. There are supporters from both sides coming together and it’s a really good picture.”

Published: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:32 AM IST


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