ISL: Mumbai City FC look for reversal of form against Bengaluru FC

Mumbai City FC will look for a positive result vs Bengaluru FC when the two sides clash in Mumbai tomorrow in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter.

football Updated: Jan 17, 2018 20:09 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
ISL,Mumbai City FC,Bengaluru FC
Mumbai City FC will be reliant on Balwant Singh’s goals to power them to a win when they face Bengaluru FC in Mumbai tomorrow in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter. (ISL / SPORTZPICS)

While the Mumbai Football Arena was Mumbai City FC’s fortress last season, home comforts have been hard to come by this season for Mumbai coach Alexandre Guimaraes as his side prepare to host second-placed Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at home on Thursday.

Mumbai’s record at home last season was three wins, three draws and just two losses from eight games, including their semi-final encounter against ATK.

But they have already lost twice in their five home encounters in the fourth edition of the ISL. A loss against Kerala Blasters FC on Sunday has kept them in fifth position, two points off the top-four.

“In terms of team performance, I see the team developing. Sometimes this progress doesn’t match the results. And now we have a situation where we have to start again and we’ll do it. The team that just lays down will be finished. We’ll not do that. We’ll fight with all our resources to be in the top four,” Guimaraes said on Mumbai’s chances of making the play-offs.

But besides looking to take advantage of home conditions, Mumbai will also be keen on avenging their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bengaluru FC in what was the opening game for both teams this season.

“The first game, we had too many situations that didn’t allow us to make a good game. They deserved that win for sure. But from that game, we have been building and everybody has a chance to make it to the top four.”

“ISL is like that. You have to be alert, anything can happen. You have to work on how to improve your team and we have been doing that,” the Costa Rican added.

Bengaluru too come into the game on the back of a shock defeat versus bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos and will be looking for a reversal of fortunes. A win for the away side will elevate them to the top of the table, while Mumbai could jump to third if they manage to come away with the three points.

“It happens. It’s a short season. And see when you have quality behind it’s easy to get back,” Bengaluru coach Albert Roca said of their defeat in Delhi.

Roca, while conceding that winning in Mumbai will be a tough ask, added that the “favourite tag” Bengaluru have been carrying has been an added pressure on his players.

“We need a balance in our results. We have two wins and then we lose, that’s not good enough. That favourite tag is not good. It puts added pressure on the players when people say ‘oh, you will win everything’. But, though there is pressure, I can tell you that we have the quality to do well,” said Roca.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 20:09 IST