Injuries hamper Mumbai FC’s resurgence bid in Aizawl

Mumbai FC would desperately be searching for their first away win this season when they take on promoted outfit Aizawl FC in an eighth round encounter of the 2015-2016 AIFF Hero I-League football tournament, to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl, Mizoram on Saturday. The match kicks off at 2.00 pm.

Khalid Jamil coach of Mumbai FC mentioned that they are looking to recover from the loss of the last game. “We are hoping to bounce back and perform well after a disappointing defeat against Sporting Clube de Goa. Aizawl are a good team, but we will work hard and try to get our first away win against them,:” Jamil said at the pre-match press briefing.

However, Mumbai FC face a daunting task as they go into the match sans the services of their skipper Taisuke Matsugae, who will miss the fourth straight game as he is still nursing a calf strain. Another major worry for Mumbai FC coach Khaild Jamil is that Min-Chol Son the heart and soul of the team’s defence has also been ruled out due to a foot injury sustained in the last game against Sporting Clube de Goa. Both Taisuke and Son along with the experienced Ashutosh Mehta who is also down with an injury have not travelled with the team.

Jamil will now have to bank on Pratik Chowdhary and Anwar Ali to take care of the central defence and look to Allan Dias, Srikant Ramu to form a formidable backline. Former Indian star N.P. Pradeep is expected to continue to wear the captain’s armband and will have an important role to play along with Izumi Arata, Eric Brown and Jayesh Rane, who returns back to the team after doing national duty with the Indian team in the just concluded SAG in Guwahati. Another option for coach Jamil is to include Malemngamba Meetei in the midfield.

Sushil Kumar Singh who scored both the goals in the last game and Ryuki Kozawa will have to be sharper upfront and seize every opportunity to get the much-needed goals which will stand them in good stead.

The Mumbai coach is confident that Sushil will carry on the good work and once again deliver. “Sushil has been performing good, I expect him to score more goals, especially tomorrow,” Jamil said.

Saturday’s visit to Aizawl is the Mumbai club’s fourth away fixture and the last two have been disastrous. The Yellow Submarines suffered a 0-1 reversal against newcomers DSK Shivajians early this month and then a 2-3 defeat to Sporting Clube de Goa last week. Earlier in the opening league match they shared honours with Shillong Lajong in the first away match last month.

A win would ensure that the Mumbai team does not slip further and continues to stay in mid table. Mumbai FC with nine points from two wins and three draws in seven games are placed in fifth position. On the other hand, Aizawl with five points from a win and two draws also from seven matches are in the eight spot, in the 9-team standings.

Aizawl, will also be determined to go all out for a win which would lift them away from the bottom half of the table. In four home games, they have a win against DSK Shivajians and drawn with Shillong Lajong in the last outing and two defeats to Bengaluru FC and Sporting Clube de Goa.

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