Mumbai City, Jamshedpur FC look to extend winning run


PTI, Dec 8, 2021, 5:30 PM IST

Margao: Defending champions Mumbai City FC will have their task cut out when they take on high-flying Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match here on Thursday.

Mumbai had a good start to the season under new coach Des Buckingham, currently sitting at the top of the points table.

After a shock defeat to Hyderabad FC, Mumbai City registered back-to-back wins, including a 5-1 hammering of arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan.

But Owen Coyle’s Jamshedpur are snapping at their heels, and are placed second having eight points from four games.

The Islanders have been at their aggressive best, something they adopted from previous coach Sergio Lobera’s coaching manual.

Igor Angulo has been in red-hot form for Mumbai, scoring four goals so far. Buckingham’s men have netted the most number of goals this season and barring the game against Hyderabad FC, they have looked like an intimidating unit.

Buckingham, though, is not getting carried away.

“It’s a good start and that’s all. It doesn’t matter where you are in the league right now, it’s about where you finish,” said the former Melbourne City assistant coach.

Mumbai have conceded two goals in the last two outings despite winning by 3-1 and 5-1 margins.

Buckingham said as a unit, he would love to see his side keep a clean sheet but at the same time, he would not change the way they play.

“We would love to win every game with a clean sheet. But we want to play an expansive game of football and in an exciting way. I would not want to change that.”

Jamshedpur, on the other hand, have looked their part this season, staying unbeaten in four games.

Coyle’s charges were unstoppable against ATK Mohun Bagan in their previous match, not letting last year’s finalists settle down into any kind of rhythm.

“We have a group of players who work their socks off and have quality. The boys are always hungry to do well for the club, for themselves and our fans which is very important,” said Coyle.

Asked about his Indian players doing well, Coyle said: “They are working very hard and the foreign players are helping them. It’s nice to see young players doing well.”

Jitendra Singh was excellent against ATK Mohun Bagan, pulling the strings expertly in the middle of the park.

Jamshedpur FC can take heart from the fact that they and NorthEast United were the only two teams to stay unbeaten against Mumbai in last ISL.

The first game between the sides ended in a 1-1 draw while Jamshedpur ran out 2-0 winners in the second game.

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