Squeaky bum time!
The business end of the Hero ISL is upon us and playoffs are in sight for the Islanders. After a disappointing evening in Hyderabad, the Islanders are faced with consecutive home fixtures to regain momentum in their bid to make it to the semifinals.
Jorge Costa’s Mumbai City FC returns to the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday to face NorthEast United FC. Action kicks off at 7.30pm tomorrow in the first of two crucial ties for the Islanders in their own backyard.
The Islanders slipped up in their bid to move into fourth place after failing to see out a cagey affair in Hyderabad. Despite taking the lead through a Mohamed Larbi penalty on the stroke of half-time, the Islanders were made to rue their missed chances after Hyderabad FC struck deep into injury time. Bobo was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box by Pratik Chaudhari and Marko Stankovic sent Amrinder Singh the wrong way to get a point off the Islanders.
Robert Jarni’s NorthEast United, who started off their campaign on a solid note, has found results tough to come by in their recent run. The Highlanders find themselves in 9th place in the standings with just 11 points, albeit with a couple of games in hand but quite notably have not won a single game since the two sides last met in November.
Since the Islanders’ trip to Guwahati, the Highlanders’ squad has seen a considerable shuffling around. Asamoah Gyan and Panagiotis Triadis, the two scorers in the 2-2 draw earlier this season, have both left the squad owing to injury and the end of their contract respectively. However, the club has delved into the market and have recruited reinforcements since in the form of Simon Lundervall and Andrew Keogh.
Jorge Costa, who cut a frustrated figure after the disappointing result, has asserted that his side his ready for the fight against a side who are still mathematically in the race for a target the Islanders are chasing as well.
Form Guide (Last Five Games)
Mumbai City FC: W-L-L-W-D
NorthEast United FC: L-D-L-L-L
Full back Souvik Chakrabarti has completed his move from the Islanders to join Hyderabad FC earlier this week. For tomorrow’s game, Pratik Chaudhari will be missing from the action against NorthEast United after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season in Hyderabad.
Who Said What:
Jorge Costa: All points lost at this stage are difficult to recover but we will give our best to win the game.
Diego Carlos: When you concede at the end like we did, it is deflating. But we’ve worked well all week and are ready for NorthEast United.
Subhasish Bose: The fight isn’t over yet. We have four more games to go and we’ll push every possible inch to make it to the playoffs.
Where to watch it
The game will kick off at 7.30pm 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.
25 Jan: FC Goa 3-2 Kerala Blasters (Boumous 26’, 83’, Jacki 45’ Messi 53’, Ogbeche 69’)
27 Jan: ATK 1-0 NorthEast United (Balwant 94’)
29 Jan: Odisha FC 2-4 FC Goa (Onwu 59’, 65’ Vinit OG 22’, Jacki 24’, 27’, Coro 90’)
Fixtures coming up:
30 Jan: Bengaluru FC vs Hyderabad FC (Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru 7.30pm)
31 Jan: Mumbai City FC vs NorthEast United FC (Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai 7.30pm)
1 Feb: Kerala Blasters vs Chennaiyin FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi 7.30pm