The Maharashtra-based side are currently on top of the table, while their opponents are currently in the battle for a playoff spot.
Now it is time for Mumbai City to host FC Goa in their second Indian Super League meeting of this season. The visitors humiliated the Islanders in the game played at Fatorda in the earlier stages this season. But since then, a lot has happened and the two sides have had two very different stories to be told.
While Mumbai hasn’t tasted any defeat since that game, FC Goa have been having a topsy-turvy ride. Apart from a couple of games, FC Goa has been below-par, but with a strong unit at his disposal, Sergio Lobera has managed to stay in contention for the top-four place.
The two managers met the media at the pre-match press conference. Below are the excerpts from the same.
Jorge Costa (Mumbai City FC)
In their previous meeting, the Goans coasted past Costa’s side with ease. Thereby, this encounter could be looked as somewhat of a revenge clash for the Islanders.
“A lot of people asked me this, but I have nothing extra to do. Goa game was a bad day for us, a bad result. And we showed everybody after that game, that our team is much better. We did nothing special. That game was at the beginning of the season. Tomorrow we will have a different game for sure. It would not be like the first game,” Costa said.
“We have our way to play, they have their way to play. I think tomorrow we will have a good game for everyone who comes to see us play. We are playing against a strong team and they know how to keep the ball with their good players,” he added.
Mumbai’s Modou Sougou limped off the pitch in the game against Bengaluru FC, and seems to be a doubt for the Friday game. But when questioned about injury updates, Costa kept it to himself, stating, “We will see tomorrow. Unfortunately, we have one, but we will see tomorrow.”
Jorge Costa tried to play down the hype of the game after the humiliation at the hands of the visitors in the first meet. The Mumbai head coach stated it to be “just one more game that we want to win.”
“Look I said after that game as well. We were not the worst team of ISL that day, and are not the best team now. We are just doing our job. Tomorrow it’s nothing different, just one more game, against a very good team. It’s one game we want to keep fighting for the three points.”
Jesus Tato (FC Goa)
The assistant gaffer said from the start that he thinks of every game as of equal importance and appreciates the rise of Mumbai City FC since the game at Fatorda.
“In the Indian Super League, there is not a single match that I consider is easy. Since the game in Goa, they have been different. They have made the comeback and have gained momentum. At the moment they are in great form. They beat the leaders of the table. We have no doubt that it will be a very tough game.”
Jesus and his team know that the job is still left to be done and that there are teams waiting in the queue, hoping that the time comes when FC Goa loses points and they climb above them. But the Gaurs believe in themselves and are certain about their qualification for the play-offs.
Jesus explained, “It’s true that we are in the playoffs qualifying position, but there are some teams that are coming from behind. We believe in ourselves, we know that we will make it in the playoffs.”
Jesus admires the Mumbai camp as an opponent. He believes that they have been working as a team under a great coach. He said, “Mumbai has great players, but above that, they have a great team as a whole and a great coach. We believe in playing in our way, and think we have a great chance of winning the game.”
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai have a player with fitness issues, mostly Modou Sougou.
No injury or suspension concerns are there at present for FC Goa.
Mumbai City FC
Did You Know?
- Mumbai has five players in the top 10 tacklers of this season’s ISL – Paulo, Goian, Subhasish, Souvik and Sehnaj in the same order.
- Souvik has the most tackles in the history of the Indian Super League – 256.
- Ferran Corominas has the most goals in the history of the Indian Super League – 28.
The match will take place on Friday at 7:30 PM at Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai. On television, the match will be live on Star Sports. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV