ISL: Goal-shy NorthEast United FC take on Mumbai City FC

NorthEast United FC will look to put their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign back on track when they take on Mumbai City FC on Wednesday (December 20).

indian super league 2017 Updated: Dec 19, 2017 21:00 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Guwahati
Indian Super League,ISL,NorthEast United FC
NorthEast United FC will take on Mumbai City FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match on Wednesday. ((ISL / SPORTZPICS))

Having picked up just four points from their opening five games so far this season, NorthEast United FC will look for a win when they take on Mumbai City FC at home in an Indian Super League match on Wednesday.

NorthEast have found it difficult to breach the opposition defence and score goals. They have netted just two goals so far and they are languishing at ninth position in the league table.

(Read | Chennaiyin FC beat Bengaluru FC 2-1 in Indian Super League thriller)

Head coach Joao Carlos Pires de Deus acknowledged that his team needs to score more goals. But the Portuguese emphasised that “it’s too early” to predict which four teams will qualify for the business end of the season.

“We have played five games but no one wins or loses the league after that many games. This is a different type of competition. Even the team that finishes at the top of the table does not win the league. But, of course, we have to win more games and score more goals,” the Portuguese coach said.

NorthEast United will be without their first choice goalkeeper T P Rehenesh after he received a direct red card in their last game against Kerala Blasters. But more worryingly for Rehenesh, it seems he has lost his coach’s confidence.

(Read | ATK finally notch first Indian Super League win against Mumbai City FC)

When asked about his choice of goalkeeper for tomorrow’s game, Joao said, “When we started the season, we had three keepers. Obviously TP played the first five because the coach thought he was the best goalkeeper. Now the coach does not think he is the best. Well, now I feel that Ravi Kumar is the best.”

Mumbai City FC, on the other hand, will be yearning to occupy a spot in the top four of the table with a win tomorrow. This is something they failed to do in their last game, against ATK at home.

Mumbai City will also be without midfielder Sehnaj Singh. The 24-year-old is serving a one-game suspension after having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season last time out.

Head coach Alexandre Guimaraes, however, refused to reveal who will replace Sehnaj for tomorrow’s game.

“It’s a long night. I still have to think about that,” he said.

Having played their last game just three days ago, the Costa Rican tactician did talk about their long travels and tough competition this season.

“We played our last game last Sunday and we had to travel immediately for our next game. But it’s the same with all the teams and I’m looking forward to playing on this (NEUFC) pitch which is one of the best in the league.”

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 20:50 IST