Three goals, clean sheet and a strong performance - as good starts go, Des Buckingham’s reign as the Islanders’ head coach started off in some style. After a thumping 3-0 win over FC Goa and sights firmly set on building on that result, Mumbai City square off against Hyderabad FC tomorrow at the Fatorda in what will be the first ever 9:30PM kick off in the history of the Indian Super League.
The Islanders kicked off their ISL title defence on Monday squaring off against FC Goa who came into the league season off the back of a successful Durand Cup campaign. After a cagey start and a penalty shout that would have been given in any other football game, Igor Angulo dispatched another spot kick before adding to his tally just three minutes later against his former side. Brazilian Ygor Catatau rounded off a fine result for Des Buckingham’s side after scoring from his first ever touch as a Mumbai City player – a deft header from an Ahmed Jahouh freekick in the final quarter of the game.
Hyderabad FC, who had an impressive season last time out, came into the 2021/22 campaign tipped to build on their previous campaign. However, despite a strong performance, Manolo Marquez’s side got off to a less than desirable start after going down 1-0 to Chennaiyin FC, conceding a second half penalty, leaving Marquez to rue his sided missed chances. Sporting a new look foreign contingent, one that includes ISL Champion and former Islander Bart Ogbeche, Hyderabad FC will be looking for their first points of the campaign.
For Des Buckingham, the focus remains on extending the strong start to the new season and standing in the way will be a side that the Islanders already have had an experience of playing against in the pre-season. With similar styles of football on offer tomorrow from both ends, a good game of football is guaranteed under the night sky of Fatorda on Saturday.
Head coach Des Buckingham has confirmed that Vignesh Dakshinamurthy will be unavailable for up to six weeks following his ankle injury against FC Goa.
Halicharan Narzary will miss out for Hyderabad FC after the winger was forced off with a knee injury early on against Chennaiyin FC.
Who said what:
Des Buckingham: "We're aware of their strengths. The coach has got them very well organized, playing a very good standard of football. We fought against them in the pre-season so we've had a taste of that. We are ready for what we need to be ready for."
Rahul Bheke: "It was an important win for us. It was our first game. We are happy that we kept a clean sheet and we got the result that we wanted. But now we are more focused on the games to come, especially the one we will be playing tomorrow."
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.
24 Nov: Odisha FC 3-1 Bengaluru FC (Javi 3’, 51’, Aridai 90’; Costa 21’)
25 Nov: NorthEast United 0-0 Kerala Blasters
Fixtures coming up:
26 Nov: FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC (GMC Bambolim; 7.30pm)
27 Nov: Mumbai City vs Hyderabad FC (Fatorda Stadium; 9.30pm)