Mumbai City FC are set to take on Hyderabad FC in their first game of the 2022/23 Indian Super League (ISL) season. The Islanders will take on the current ISL champions Hyderabad FC in a highly anticipated match. Mumbai City FC, who in their last competitive game against Bengaluru FC in the 2022 Durand Cup final, lost to the Blues in a close-run affair that ended 2-1. The first game of the new ISL season for Mumbai City FC that will see them take on Hyderabad FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports complex in Pune on the 9th of October 2022, will kick-off at 7.30pm IST.
The Islanders had a stellar IndianOil 2022 Durand Cup despite losing to Bengaluru FC in the final. Mumbai City FC lost the 2022 Durand Cup final 2-1, but were the most attacking team at the Asia’s oldest football tournament. The team performed admirably on their way to the final only losing a solitary game in group and stages and trounced their opponents with ease in the knock-out rounds of the tournament. The Islanders’ Lallianzuala Chhangte was awarded the golden boot for his 7 goals at the 2022 Durand Cup and Greg Stewart was adjudged to be the best player at the tournament for his magnificent all round attacking displays.
Hyderabad FC, on the other hand lost to eventual champions Bengaluru FC in the semi-final of the 2022 Durand Cup. In their group stage games at the 2022 Durand Cup the Nizams had a similar run to that of the Islanders, as they also only lost one game. Bartholomew Ogbeche was the standout performer for Hyderabad FC in the 2022 Durand Cup as he scored 5 goals for the Nizams at the domestic tournament.
In the 3 previous meetings between the ISL heavyweights, Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC, the Islanders have not been able to register a win. Their first ever competitive meeting between the two clubs ended as a goal-less draw. The most recent two meetings between the clubs saw the Islanders lose 2-1 and 3-1 respectively.
Coach Des Buckingham before the match talked about the team’s preparation as he said, “Before the Durand Cup, we wanted to pick up from where we left off at the Champions League, where we had a very good campaign. And I was very happy that we made the final we set out at the start in the 2022 Durand Cup. We knew we were guaranteed four group games in a very tough group with teams that sent their first team out for all the games we faced a good I league side in Rajasthan and then the Navy. But we wanted to make sure we got 7 games because not only did we want to progress and do as well in that tournament as we could, but we know if we got 7 games in. It Would really help prepare us as well as we could for the ISL. Although we didn't quite get that 7th game win, those seven games have really helped prepare ourselves.”
Meanwhile, Captain Mourtada Fall noted that for Mumbai City FC to have a good Indian Super League campaign, it would be key to maintain the intensity throughout the season. “Yes, the goal is to start the season well, it’s the most important thing. If we start well, it gives us confidence for the next games. Hyderabad FC is a good team and they were champions last year. But we also have a good team. It is a new year for everyone and we need to try and do our best.”
Coach Buckingham went on to add, “The tempo of the game and the players, the excitement levels on the field are something that has been missing the last two years because of the bubble. In terms of our own fans, we've got a very dedicated set of fans. We even had two of them travel over to the Champions League in Saudi Arabia to support us. We're a little bit closer to home now, obviously not at home, but closer to home and to see as many fans as we will at the game tomorrow, we are all looking forward to it.”
Buckingham signed off by saying, “Hyderabad FC have a wonderful coach, they've got some consistency in the same way we have over the last season by retaining the coach and a large group of their playing base and so I'm expecting a very good game tomorrow night, but one we are very much prepared for.”
The Islanders have reported a fullly available squad with the exception of Amey Ranawade.
Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 7:30 pm IST and will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar, and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can download the OneFootball app, find your broadcaster at indiansuperleague.com or follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - MumbaiCityFC.