Match Preview: Kingfisher East Bengal FC vs Mumbai City FC
Nearly three weeks ago, Alexandre Guimaraes’ boys left it very, very late when they beat the young colts of the Indian Arrows in a qualifying fixture of the Hero Super Cup. Tomorrow, the boys are back in the city of Bhubaneshwar to face the famed Kingfisher East Bengal FC in the Pre-Quarterfinals of the first edition of the knockout competition at the Kalinga Stadium.
Despite making a strong start against the Arrows, including hitting the woodwork within the first quarter of the game, Mumbai City FC fell behind to a well-worked goal by 18-year-old Rahul KP midway through the second half. The lifeline came by with a 91st minute penalty slotted in coolly by Achille Emana, taking the game to Extra Time. The winner came courtesy a sweet strike by Everton Santos in the 104th minute, sealing the Islanders’ spot in the main draw of the Hero Super Cup.
Khalid Jamil’s East Bengal were in the fore of the title race in the recently-concluded season of the I League but eventually finished fourth in the table. The likes of Cavin Lobo, Katsumi Yusa and Dudu Omagbemi will pose a challenge for the Islanders and stand between them and a spot in the Quarterfinal of the 2018 Hero Super Cup.
Where to watch it:
The game will kick off at 5pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can follow all the live action on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
The Islanders’ have announced a clean bill of health of the crucial tie against East Bengal.
For the Red & Golds of East Bengal, they will be without the services of Md Rafique who will miss out due to injury.
This will be the first time the sides will meet in a competitive fixture.
The Mumbai City FC ranks will feature as many as six former East Bengal players in the form of Raju Gaikwad, Sehnaj Singh, Abinash Ruidas, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Sanju Pradhan and Aiborlang Khongjee.
The inaugural Hero Super Cup is beyond the halfway mark in the pre-quarterfinal stage and five teams have sealed their spots in the final 8 of the knockout tournament.
Chennaiyin FC 2-2 Aizawl FC (Aizawl FC win 3-5 on penalties)
Bengaluru FC 2-1 Gokulam Kerala FC
Churchill Brothers 1-2 Mohun Bagan
Minerva Punjab FC 0-0 Jamshedpur FC (Jamshedpur FC win 4-5 on penalties)
FC Goa 3-1 ATK
The other fixtures are:
Wednesday, 4th April
FC Pune City vs Shillong Lajong FC (8pm)
Friday, 6th April
NEROCA FC vs Kerala Blasters FC (8pm)