Mumbai City FC warms up in style for Hero ISL opener
Argentine recruit gives early warning to opponents with two hat-tricks in four matches; Top Indian strikers also among goals
Mumbai, 8th October, 2014: Hero Indian Super League title aspirants Mumbai City FC warmed up in style for the tournament’s opener against Atletico de Kolkata with clinical victories in their four friendlies in the city so far. The Mumbai City FC team flies to Kolkata on 9th October to prepare for the inaugural match of Hero ISL tournament against Atletico de Kolkata at Salt Lake Stadium, on 12th October 2014.
Promoted by Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor and Chartered Accountant Bimal Parekh, the club is determined to make an immediate impact on the Hero Indian Super League and the squad has been undergoing an extensive pre-season camp and playing friendlies to gauge the progress by implanting some of the ideas they practice in training and helping the foreign and Indian players in the squad understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses in actual match conditions.
The team began with a 6-0 thumping of Union Bank at Father Agnel Ground, Vashi, before registering a 3-2 victory over former I-League club Air India. In their two friendlies, at the Cooperage, the team hammered DSK Shivajians 6-1 and then beat another former I-league team ONGC 2-1 with former French international Nicolas Anelka playing a starring role.
The idea of such friendlies is to help the players of different playing styles and countries to gel together and adapt to a system that the team would want to follow through the main tournament.
The purpose was definitely achieved as they not only won all their four matches, but manager Peter Reid would be particularly happy that the likes of Syed Rahim Nabi and Nadong Bhutia have turned provider for their foreign stars with Argentine recruit Diego Nadaya already showcasing what he is capable of with seven goals, including two hat-tricks, for the team in the four friendlies.
The Goal scorers include the former India international Subhash Singh and Lalrindika Ralte, the youngster with the best left-foot in Indian football, apart from the up and coming Bhutia.
But more than the goals and the victories what would have pleased Reid would be the numbers in the shots on target and crosses made inside the opponent’s penalty box. In the four matches, the average shots on targets went into doubles figures and the number of crosses and corners were double of the shots on target.
This clearly means that the mid-field and the forward line is complementing each other, which augurs well for the lung opener on Sunday.