The comeback needs to be stronger than the setback, and the Islanders delivered. After running riot against ATK Mohun Bagan in an encore of last season’s Final, Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City are up against Bengaluru FC tomorrow in late night action kicking off at 9:30PM at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.
After going down 3-1 to Hyderabad FC, head coach Des Buckingham stressed on the importance of maintaining course and working in the same way. It paid off. A meeting of last season’s top two sides, touted as a redemption game for the Mariners after last season’s disappointment, the Islanders did not let the occasion get the better of them. Vikram Partap Singh grabbed a fine brace on his first start for the club before Igor Angulo, Mourtada Fall and Bipin Singh got into the act as Des Buckingham’s side thumped five goals past ATK Mohun Bagan. David Williams got onto the score sheet for the hosts but it was merely a consolation, with the game finishing 5-1 on the night in favour of the defending ISL Champions.
Bengaluru FC have undergone a considerable rebuild over the summer. German-Italian Marco Pezzaiuoli took over the reigns following the 2020-21 league season ahead of the Blues’ AFC Cup campaign, and also played a crucial role in a sizeable overhaul of the playing squad. Bengaluru FC started off the 21-22 ISL on a winning note, with a convincing 4-2 win over NorthEast United but their good work seemed to have come undone in the next game, going down 3-1 to Odisha FC. With a 1-1 draw against Kerala Blasters, the Blues come into tomorrow’s marquee fixture with three points in the bag from three games.
The Islanders have had some feisty games against the side from Bengaluru over the years. With two new head coaches at the helm on either side, a new chapter is certain to be written in the history books of this great fixture.
Des Buckingham has announced a clean bill of health with the exception of Vignesh Dakshinamurthy who continues to work towards his return from an ankle injury.
Bengaluru FC will be without the services of Leon Augustine, who much like Vignesh, is nursing an ankle injury after the first round of games.
Who said what:
Des Buckingham: "(Bengaluru FC) have got some very good players, play a very good style of football and if we don't prepare ourselves as well as we need to, they will cause us problems. They're coached very well and have some excellent players within the system."
Amey Ranawade: "It was important to bounce back from the defeat. Losing is a part of the game but what champions do is make a strong comeback. That's what it is about, and we showed it in the previous game."
Where to watch it:
The game will kick off at 9.30pm 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.
2 Dec: Jamshedpur FC 1-1 Hyderabad FC (Stewart 41’; Ogbeche 57’)
Fixtures coming up:
3 Dec: Chennaiyin FC vs SC East Bengal (Tilak Maidan; 7.30pm)
4 Dec: NorthEast United vs FC Goa (Fatorda Stadium; 7.30pm)
4 Dec: Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai City (GMC Bambolim; 9.30pm)