After a flying start came a roadblock. High from the win in the opening week, the Islanders’ happiness was cut short after a 3-1 defeat to Hyderabad FC. With an aim to get back to winning ways, Mumbai City are faced with a repeat of last-season’s Final. Des Buckingham’s side take on ATK Mohun Bagan tomorrow at the Fatorda at 7.30PM in what will be the Islanders’ first designated ‘away’ game of the 2021/22 season.
The Islanders started off on the front foot against the visiting Hyderabad FC with Ahmed Jahouh thumping home from close range his first goal for the club in the 6th minute. A penalty from Joao Victor six minutes later along with second half goals from former Islander Bart Ogbeche and Rohit Danu capped off a 3-1 win for Hyderabad FC on a night when it was a case of one team taking their chances while the other couldn’t.
On the other hand, ATK Mohun Bagan have had a solid start to the 21/22 campaign. A 4-2 win over Kerala Blasters in the season opener followed by a comfortable 3-0 win over SC East Bengal have given the Mariners six points out of six. Tomorrow’s clash will have a seeming edge after the Islanders faced ATKMB on three occasions last season, winning thrice and bagging the League Winners’ Shield in the final league game of the season and the ISL Trophy in Final. Adding another flavor to the occasion will be Hugo Boumous, Bidyananda Singh and Amrinder Singh. The trio switched camps in the off season, with Amrinder captaining the Islanders to the historic double last season.
With a solid response and three points the need of the hour for Des Buckingham, a feisty encore of last season’s top two sides was probably something the Englishman could have waited for. But that’s probably why they say that tough times don’t last, tough teams do.
The Islanders will have Mandar Rao Dessai in contention for a spot in the XI after Des Buckingham confirmed his return from injury along with Rowllin Borges who has sparingly featured in the first two games. Vignesh Dakshinamurthy continues to be on the treatment table for the Islanders.
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas confirmed that Spanish defender Tiri is a week away from full fitness.
Who said what:
Des Buckingham: "It’s not so much about them. It's making sure that we do what we want to do. So, we need to prepare ourselves both in possession and out of possession to face another good team and that's what we've been working on in the last two days."
Apuia Ralte: "Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. It's normal in football. What is more important is how we come back in the next match."
Where to watch it:
The game will kick off at 7.30pm 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 action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
28 Nov: Bengaluru FC 1-1 Kerala Blasters (Ashique 84’; Ashique OG 88’))
29 Nov: NorthEast United 1-2 Chennaiyin FC (Suhair 50’; Chhangte 41’, Thapa 74’)
Fixtures coming up:
30 Nov: Odisha FC vs SC East Bengal (Tilak Maidan; 7.30pm)
1 Dec: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai City (Fatorda Stadium; 7.30pm)