Mumbai FC season review 2015-16: Part III


After two consecutive away losses against Sporting Clube de Goa and newcomers Aizawl FC, we were scheduled to face both the teams again within five days at Cooperage.

Prior to our game against Sporting Goa, we also saw six new players coming in at the expense of three players from the squad that were released. Nallappan Mohanraj, Clifford Miranda, Sandeep Nandy, Syed Nabi, Ishfaq Ahmed and Naoba Singh were brought in, while Malemnganba Metei, Asif Kottayil and Shrikanth Ramu were released by the club.

Gaffer Khalid Jamil had announced the signings in the press conference, but also ruled out their availability against Sporting Goa.

“We have signed new players like Sandeep, Clifford, Naoba, Nabi and others, but the paperwork is yet to be completed, so they may not be available for the game against Goa,” Khalid told in the press briefings.

Khalid seemed very positive at the time of new signings. He admitted: “All the new players are very good players who have the experience of playing in the league before. I hope they will perform to the best of their abilities,” Jamil had said.

We had already faced Sporting Goa twelve days prior to our home game at Cooperage where Sporting had come twice from behind to beat us 3-2 at Fatorda.

“We have to forget what has happened in the past and look forward. We must make a fresh start to our season and Cooperage is a good place to do that. Our fans have been motivating us very well this season and I am hoping we turn the season around,” Khalid told in the pre-match conference.

In a nervy encounter, Sporting Goa fought back to earn a hard-fought 2-2 draw against a strong Mumbai side.

Mahmoud Al Amnah had given Mateus Costa’s side a vital lead in the 7th minute before Ryuki Kozawa levelled the score ten minutes later. Former Indian International NP Pradeep was unfortunate to be sent off just before the half time which had put our side on back foot for time being.

But in the second half, Jayesh Rane scored a fantastic goal from Eric Brown’s long ball to give our side a respectable 2-1 lead at the hour mark.

Mateus Costa brought in Victorino Fernandes, who against the run of play equalized in a minute after just coming on to earn his side a hard-fought draw.

Four days later, we were scheduled to host Aizawl FC who had recently lost to Bengaluru FC 1-0.

“In the last game against Sporting Clube de Goa we also missed the four players and still we played well and managed to get a good result. But now we have to think positive about this match. The boys have to be more disciplined and play according to the plans and go all out for a win,” Jamil had mentioned during the pre-match briefing.

Jamil had also warned his players about being complacent against the visitors as they had done in the away match, that they lost 0-2 in their last meeting against Aizawl.

“In the previous meeting with debutants Aizawl, we took them a bit lightly, especially in the second half. But this time we cannot make the same mistakes, we have to be tighter and try to win the game as we need the three points.”

In an eventful match, a goal by Syed Nabi prevented our victory as the match finished 2-2 at Cooperage. Ryuki Kozawa had put our side in front after converting a penalty, but Albert Zohmingmawia soon levelled the score for the Mizoram outfit.

Just before the hour mark, Eric Brown restored the parity after scoring a sensational goal but yet again, Aizawl equalized six minutes later through an unfortunate own goal by new signing Syed Nabi.

With neither team able to find the net in the remaining period the match finished in a 2-2 draw.





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