Mumbai FC season review 2015-16: Part I


The 2015-16 season ended with Mumbai FC finishing on 5th with 19 points, which is their personal best in the top tier of Indian football. The Yellow Submarines had a dream start, for once Mumbai FC looked like a serious title contenders after first four games. Two back to back draws against Shillong Lajong and East Bengal was followed by consecutive victories against Salgaocar SC and Bengaluru FC. In this segment we will review the whole season in four parts.


After winning the Nadkarni Cup in November, Mumbai FC rope in couple of players in order to make their side strong ahead of their I-league campaign. Signing of Shillong Lajong’s Captain Minchol Son, Arata Izumi, Eric Brown, Ryuki Kozawa, Sushil Kumar Singh and Pratik Chowdhury further added depth to the squad. But the best business by Mumbai FC was to retain Chennaiyin FC star player Jayesh Rane, who assisted the winning goal in the final of Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 against FC Goa.

Prior to the Lajong game, in a meet & session at Cooperage Stadium, Khalid mentioned that he is happy with the team and that all the players are prepared for the upcoming challenges.

“I am totally satisfied with the composition of the team. This is the first time that I took my time to choose and pick my players. Whichever players I wanted in the team I managed to get. All the players have been working out nicely and a raring to play the opening match,” Jamil told media persons during a meet & greet session in January.

“All the players are fully fit and prepared to take on any opposition in this tournament. We have recently won the Nadkarni Cup, which will provides us a big boost,” said Jamil.

Mumbai FC travelled to Shillong on 10th January for their first match of the I-league campaign, and after a cagey game both the outfit had to share the spoils. The backline of Lajong and Mumbai FC stood firm and composed throughout the game as the match ended 0-0.

Next up was three consecutive home games at Cooperage Stadium against the mighty East Bengal, Salgaocar SC and Bengaluru FC.

The match against East Bengal in their first home game of the season ended in a goalless draw. Both the teams had their chances, but in the end neither teams could make the most of their moments and had to settle for a point.

“I am not happy with the result as we were looking for three points from this game. However, I feel the performance of our players was good. The only thing lacking was the finish. We had some good chances in the first 25-30 minutes and we didn’t hit the target from those,” Khalid Jamil told the media after the game.

On 24th January, Mumbai FC finally registered their first win of the campaign after edging Salgaocar SC 2-1 at Cooperage. Captain Taisuke Matsugae’s wonder strike was followed by Sushil Kumar’s first goal for the club in the second half.

Salgaocar’s winger Jackichand Singh cut short the deficit late in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to spoil Mumbai’s first win of the I-league season.

The highlight of Mumbai FC’s season came a week later against Bengaluru FC. With the newly formed Mumbai’s fan base ‘The Yellow Brigade’ backing the team in numbers, it was just the icing on the cake for any Mumbai FC player to see such a mammoth support in their memorable 2-0 victory over Ashley Westwood’s side.

Arata Izumi’s deflected goal on 5th minute put The Yellow Submarines in front before Minchol Son scored a stunner from 40 yards to make it 2-0 in favour of Mumbai FC.

Khalid’s side stood firm on their two goals lead as Mumbai FC against all odds defeated Bengaluru FC.

“I am very happy with the performance. These are very crucial points against a very good team. It was a difficult game, but we played very well for the points and that pleased me,” Khalid Jamil told the media after the game.

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