A mouthwatering clash awaits Petr Kratky and Mumbai City as the Islanders prepare for the big semifinal of the 2024 Kalinga Super Cup against hosts Odisha FC. Mumbai City will be in action in the second of the two semifinals on Thursday, January 25 at the Kalinga Stadium with action kicking off at 7:30 PM IST.

With as many as six key players away on international duty with India at the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar and a few others sidelined due to injuries, Petr Kratky and Mumbai City exemplified their trust in youth and came out on top of Group C with three wins out of three. The Islanders’ young talents like Ayush Chhikara, Valpuia, Gurkirat Singh, Franklin Nazareth and Nathan Rodrigues among several others stood out as Mumbai City beat Gokulam Kerala (2-1), Punjab FC (3-2) and Chennaiyin FC (1-0) to qualify for the semifinals of the 2024 Kalinga Super Cup.

Awaiting the Islanders in the semifinal are plenty of familiar faces in hosts Odisha FC. Led by former Mumbai City head coach Sergio Lobera and spearheaded by several former Islanders including Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, Amey Ranawade and others, Odisha FC are flying high with a near full-strength squad. The Kalinga Warriors topped Group D, finishing above FC Goa, Bengaluru FC and Inter Kashi, winning all three games in the process. Odisha FC have been a force to reckon with in the 2024 Kalinga Super Cup and with the home support behind them, the Warriors will pose a tough test with a spot in the Final at stake.

Speaking to the media ahead of the big semifinal, Petr Kratky was wary of the threats Sergio Lobera’s side will pose but insists that the Islanders are ready to take them on. Kratky said, “We will be challenged. We have done our homework; Odisha is one of the best teams in India and they play good football. We are preparing the boys for the game, and we look forward to it as it will be an exciting contest.”

Mumbai City’s young talent has come to the fore and stepped up in the absence of plenty of key players and Kratky, who has a strong background in youth development, is pleased with what he has seen so far. “I'm happy so far for everyone in the team. The youngsters have an opportunity and they have taken it well. The boys are working hard and as a result they are getting rewarded. They are sticking together, doing the right things and getting the three points, so I am pleased by it,” added the 42-year-old head coach.

While Sergio Lobera will have a full strength squad available to him compared to the Islanders’ depleted playing group, Petr Kratky knows his side will have enough to make a mark when they take on Odisha FC later today. “As I said, they are a quality team. They like to play with the ball. They have their strengths, and they also have their weaknesses. We know that they are vulnerable in some areas, and we will try to expose them. They have a full-strength squad, but we have got quality players on our side who are with us and can help us achieve the results. We will not go with any fear on the pitch, and we will fight to grab a win,” said the Islanders’ boss.


Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 7:30 PM IST on Thursday, 25th of January 2024 and will be broadcasted on Jio Cinema. For our global fans, you can follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.