With a perfect Group Stage record in the bag, Mumbai City are gearing up for a test in the Quarterfinal of the 2023 Durand Cup against Mohun Bagan Super Giant. The Islanders will take on the local favourites on Sunday, August 27 at the VYBK with action kicking off at 6pm IST.
Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City made it three wins in three in Group B after recording a comfortable 4-0 against the Indian Navy FT. Jorge Pereyra Díaz opened the scoring before Greg Stewart headed in the Islanders’ second before Gurkirat Singh scored his first-ever goal for the club and 18-year old left back Nathan Rodrigues found the back of the net on his debut for Mumbai City.
The Islanders’ head coach was pleased with his side’s start to the Durand Cup but remained focused on the challenges ahead. “Yeah, I'm happy (with our group stage performance). We obviously wanted to pick up where we left off from last year. For us, it wasn't about starting anew this year. It was about recognizing a lot of the good work that certainly has been built and was on show last season and taking a large part of that with us to this year. Now it's about the continuation of that which will allow us to evolve and get better,” said Buckingham.
He added, “In the three games we've had in the Durand Cup, we've tried quite a few different things. We had a chance to look at different players and different ways of doing certain things. It's been a good start, but that's all it's been. So I'm very happy with where we are at the moment and I'm very much looking forward to what's to come.”
One of the latest additions to the Islanders’ family, Akash Mishra, joined Buckingham at the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash. The young left-back asserted that while he is wary of Mohun Bagan’s challenge, the squad’s focus remains on themselves. “I think it will be nice to play against Mohun Bagan, but the most important thing is we have to focus on ourselves and how we want to play. That is the most important thing. So we are trying to put our focus on ourselves, not on the opposition. We'll try to play our style of football and we'll try to do the things that Coach wants on the ground and try to be positive”, said Mishra.
Elaborating on the challenge Mohun Bagan SG and their new summer recruits would present, Buckingham said, “Every game we play is a is a challenge. You look, not just at Mohun Bagan but all the teams’ recruitment, it’s shaping up to be a very exciting season. They (MBSG) have obviously recruited the players that they have to allow them to play the football that they want to play this year and we’ll see how that goes. They’ve also done well to qualify for the AFC Cup Group Stage, which I think is great for Indian football because it gives us another berth on that stage. But we won’t look at too much of what they’ve done. We will obviously try to prepare for what we think we may face but a lot of our time and attention and focus is always on what we do and how we want to do it.”
Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 6:00 PM IST on the 27th of August 2023 and will be broadcasted on Sony Sports 2, Sony LIV and Jio TV. For our global fans, you follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.