The sport of football brings you the highest of highs and sometimes, the lowest of lows too. It teaches you to fight. It teaches you to take your fate in your own hands. No more than four days ago, Lucian Goian did just that.
His marauding run all the way in to the NorthEast United box in stoppage time was beautifully found by Raju Gaikwad’s probing cross. A 91st minute winner by the captain meant our hopes for a spot in the play-offs remain alive and kicking!
Standing between Alexandre Guimaraes’ boys and a potential top 4 spot are two Herculean away fixtures. First up, the Islanders make a trip to the capital to face a resurgent Delhi Dynamos side on Tuesday, 27 February at the picturesque Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
After the nail-biting win over NorthEast United, coupled with a few other results, the equation now rests in our own hands with two wins in the remaining two games all but guaranteeing the Islanders a spot in the top 4. Delhi Dynamos, who have found a rich vein of form, come off the back off a dramatic 4-3 win over ATK. Talismanic striker Kalu Uche, too has struck form with 8 goals in the last 6 games. But with qualification out of reach for Miguel Angel Portugal’s side, they have been playing party-poopers and are sure to put up a formidable performance.
Where to watch it:
The game will kick off at 8pm 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 find your broadcaster here. You can also follow live action on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
After serving his suspension, striker Balwant Singh’s return will be a major boost to the attacking department of Alexandre Guimaraes’ side.
For Delhi Dynamos, custodian Albino Gomes continues to recover. Midfielder Romeo Fernandes will be a doubt for tomorrow’s clash.
This will be the 8th time the two sides will face each other. The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 3-3 draw after two debatable calls from the referee allowed Delhi to claw back from 3-1 down. A brace from Krisztian Vadocz and a sublime finish from Sony Norde made up the goals on the night.
It was another goal-fest, albeit a one sided affair, when Delhi Dynamos visited the Arena towards the end of December. Goals from Goian, Everton, Thiago and Balwant sank the Dynamos to a sixth consecutive loss. Both sides were reduced to 10 men just before half-time after a scuffle between Sehnaj Singh and Delhi’s Matias Mirabaje.
While Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC shared the spoils, tomorrow’s opponents Delhi held FC Goa to a draw last week. In a crucial fixture with implications on multiple teams, Jamshedpur FC lost 2-0 to Bengaluru FC, throwing the race for that fourth spot wide open. FC Goa, after a 5-game winless run, thrashed FC Pune City 4-0 at the Balewadi. However, with Jamshedpur losing, Pune sealed their first ever play-off appearance in their history.
The other fixtures of the week are:
Wednesday, 28th February
FC Goa vs ATK (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, 8pm)
Thursday, 1st March
Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters FC (Sree Kanteerava Stadium, 8pm)
Friday, 2nd March
Delhi Dynamos FC vs FC Pune City (Jawharlal Nehru Stadium, 8pm)
Sunday, 4th March
Jamshedpur FC vs FC Goa (JRD Tata Sports Complex, 5.30pm)
ATK vs NorthEast United (VYBK, 8pm)