Des Buckingham's Islanders get ready for the Odisha FC challenge
New year, renewed ambitions.
Mumbai City enter into 2022 with the first league game of the year coming just three days in. Winless in two games, Des Buckingham’s Islanders are up against Odisha FC tomorrow, as the action takes us to the Tilak Maidan for the first time this season in a 7:30PM kick off in Vasco.
After a 3-0 loss against Kerala Blasters, the heaviest for the Islanders in nearly 20 months, the Islanders went up against the Highlanders aiming to end a largely successful 2021 on a high, but it wasn’t to be. Deshorn Brown gave the hosts the lead from what was a seemingly offside position. The Islanders clawed back to go 3-1 up through a brace from Igor Angulo and a solitary strike from Bipin Singh but two more goals from the Jamaican meant that the tie ended in a 3-3 draw, cutting down the Islanders’ lead at the top of the Indian Super League table to just one point.
Odisha FC, under new leadership in the form of Spaniard Kiko Ramirez, arrived into the 2021-22 season with much fanfare around a new-look squad including some high profile overseas recruits. But after three wins in the opening four games, the Juggernauts have stuttered in the recent past. With three losses and a draw in the following four games, Ramirez’s side have found points hard to come by and will come into tomorrow’s contest off the back of a 6-1 loss against Hyderabad FC.
It not only promises to be a showcase between two sides who like to keep the ball and attack, but also two sides eager to brush off a disappointing end to 2021 and start the new year on a high. And with both sides having played a goalless draw earlier in pre-season, tomorrow’s encounter is sure to bring a competitive edge.
Rowllin Borges will continue to remain on the sidelines with an injury. Vikram Partap Singh, who did not feature in the match day squad against NEUFC with a minor injury, could return to the fold against Odisha FC.
Who Said What:
Des Buckingham: I think this league, this year, in particular, has shown that any team is capable of beating any team, regardless of the position of what position they are in the league, or maybe on the previous results that have come before. So, I am expecting another tough and hard game against a well-organised and good Odisha team with good players.
Mourtada Fall: We are still at the top of the table. Last game was important. But we drew. Tomorrow, we come back against Odisha. We have only played eight games so far. So anything is possible tomorrow. There is still a long way to go in the league. We need to take points, of course. We are here to play for trophies. We know at the beginning of the season, we only play for trophies. So, we need to take maximum points.
Where to watch it
The game will kick off at 7.30 pm 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 download the OneFootball app, find your broadcaster at indiansuperleague.com/broadcasters or follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
29 Dec: ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1 FC Goa (Liston 23’, Krishna 56’; Ortiz 81’)
30 Dec: Chennaiyin FC 2-4 Bengaluru FC (Murzaev 4’, Rahim 49’; Cleiton 39’ P, Alan 43’, Udanta 70’, Pratik 74’)
Fixtures coming up:
2 Jan: Kerala Blasters vs FC Goa (Tilak Maidan; 7.30pm)
2 Jan: Jamshedpur FC vs Chennaiyin FC (GMC Bambolim; 7.30pm)
3 Jan: Odisha FC vs Mumbai City (Fatorda; 7.30pm)