Before the match started, both the sides were the least scorers of the league, but displayed a goalfest for the spectators.
Mumbai City FC continued their good run of form as the Islanders defeated Delhi Dynamos, 4-2, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in their Indian Super League fixture. This was the second game between the two sides, and Mumbai City completed a double. Mumbai had as many as three different scorers in Raynier Fernandes, Paulo Machado and Rafael Bastos. The second of their four goals was an own goal from Marti Crespi.
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Watch: Delhi Dynamos 2-4 Mumbai City, Goals and Highlights
Delhi Dynamos also saw an own goal scored for them. Souvik Chakrabarti, making a comeback to the side, put the ball in his own net while trying to block Lallianzuala Chhangte’s shot. The goal was later counted to be as of Chhangte’s and not an own goal. The other goal scorer for Delhi was Gianni Zuiverloon.
The two coaches met the media after the game for the post-match press conference.
Before the match started, Mumbai and Delhi were the least scorers of the league. But the two sides managed to produce a goal fest for the fans. Delhi Dynamos head coach Josep Gombau was happy to see his side play good football and score goals. “It was a good game for us, especially the first half. We played good football, we scored the goal. But Mumbai were better and they won the game.”
After almost two seasons of misery where Delhi have seen themselves at the bottom of the table, Josep Gombau thinks all they lack is confidence. He explained, “I think the confidence after not winning so much, is what we lack. I don’t want to complain or blame anyone. Everyone is trying to do their best.”
There is still hope for Delhi Dynamos though. There have been seasons of ISL where teams have climbed their way from the bottom to the playoff qualifying positions, and have gone to even win the league. The Delhi coach wants his side to be professional and bounce back to win as many games of the remaining eight as they could and give themselves a chance to qualify for the knockouts.
“The target for the coach and the players should be to work very hard and try to win every single game that we have. Until now, we don’t have any win, which we have to change. We need to show that we are professional and try to win game by game and work as a professional we are. We have two more games before the break. We need to concentrate on them. And then in the break, we will think about the last six games.”
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Mumbai City FC failed to find their foot in the first half, particularly in the first 25 minutes when Delhi were all over them, and the travelling players saw some refereeing decisions wrongfully go against them. But as they have done quite often this season, Mumbai City FC bounced back in the second half and changed the complexion of the game.
“A lot of things changed, Its true that in the first half we didn’t click but its ok, we didn’t play we used to do, the first five-ten minutes looks like we were sleeping and not in the game but in second half lot of things changed, I spoke with the players, I changed some things and we saw in the pitch the Mumbai City that I like that I want and the team that is doing a very good job since the beginning of the season,” said Mumbai City FC coach Jorge Costa.
Mumbai coach Costa is known to be the one who likes to work on the defence first strategy. And it has been reflected on the pitch as despite having been made to make so many changes in the back-line every second game, he has four consecutive clean sheets after the FC Goa hauling to show. But against Delhi, his defensive game failed and he had to switch to an attacking one in the second half.
“Second half it was an open game, we didn’t stay back for defending, we were always looking to score one more, Its difficult, yesterday we arrived at the hotel at 10:30 pm and we make one hour to reach the stadium so to fight for the result we must work more. But I am happy, we concede two goals, we came from 4 consecutive clean sheets and we concede two today but it is ok. The most important is Mumbai got three points.”
Mumbai City FC have a tough schedule. They play Chennaiyin on 6th at home and then travel to Bengaluru for the game against Bengaluru FC on 9th. But Costa thinks that after winning the way they won, his players would be happy.
“This is the reality, We flew in yesterday, tomorrow we fly back. We have a difficult game against Chennai in two days and then we will fly to Bengaluru, have another difficult game but we must be ready for this that’s why we work hard every day If you ask me it this situation is perfect than it is not. Players do not have enough time to recover but after a game like today’s players recover fast and will be back home happy.”
The race to the top-four isn’t over until its over and Jorge Costa understands it. He knows that there are no threshold points that guarantee safe passage to the knockouts.
“I was watching WhatsApp, Everybody thinks that 30 points is enough to stay in the top four but then I saw amazing things, For example, Delhi they had four points in first four games but they finish with 19 points and other teams like ATK they finished first half with 11 and they make four points in the second so of course, we know but we cannot think, we must try to win every game and fight for the three points. So all coaches will say we will try to finish in top four so it is game by game.”
Mumbai host defending champions Chennaiyin next and Delhi will travel to Jamshedpur for the game on 12th.