Mumbai FC vs ONGC Preview

Mumbai FC take on Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in a highly anticipated clash in the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite Division on Saturday afternoon at Cooperage. The encounter couldn’t have come at a better time for Mumbai FC who as the city’s only club playing in the I-League get ready for the I-League which is less than ten days away from now.

The clash will renew one of Mumbai football’s greatest rivalries as arguably two of the greatest teams in Mumbai football go head to head. The two teams have had some great encounters between them in the past in the I-League and the duo will lock horns once again as the fight for the MDFA Elite Division title intensifies.

Form Guide & Head to Head Statistics

Mumbai FC have been tearing teams apart in the MDFA Elite Division and have won eight games in a row in the Division ahead of this clash against ONGC. Khalid Jamil’s men also won the Nadkarni Cup recently, beating Air India in the Final. So the men in yellow will head into this game in great touch as Head Coach Khalid Jamil is likely to put out his strongest side with this game being the last before their I-League campaign kicks off on 10th January.

ONGC too come into this game in similar form having won seven games in a row. C. Pinho’s men too had their share of glory in Kolhapur where ONGC won an all-India tournament recently. In addition, ONGC are unbeaten in the Elite Division so far, failing to win only once against Kenkre in their first game of the season. ONGC’s last defeat in the league came way back in April last year when they were shocked by Western Railways 3-2, a defeat that ended ONGC’s title hopes.

Mumbai FC and ONGC have faced each other four times in the I-League and Mumbai FC are unbeaten against ONGC, winning on two occasions and drawing twice. However, Mumbai FC’s wins in the past have come by a narrow margin of 1-0.

Team News

Mumbai FC are likely to field a side which would be very close to full strength. However, the Mumbai FC fans may have to wait to see new signing Arata Izumi in action after the Japanese born India midfielder trained separately from the team on Friday. The game might come too soon for Jayesh Rane who is expected to officially sign an extension with Mumbai FC for the upcoming I-League season.

ONGC will be able to field a strong side against Mumbai FC after senior player Dharmesh Patel revealed that some key players who were given a week’s rest during the Christmas period will return to the squad against Mumbai FC.

Key Battles

Ryuki Kozawa vs Karan Atwal

Mumbai FC’s new striker Ryuki Kozawa is likely to handed a start against ONGC as Khalid Jamil would like his forward to have some minutes under his belt before the I-League kicks off. Kozawa who was signed from a Polish second division club has great technical ability and plenty of pace to burn. Kozawa will test the ONGC back line which has uncharacteristically looked fragile in recent weeks.

ONGC’s Karan Atwal will have to be careful and combat Kozawa’s threat aptly and blunt Mumbai FC’s attack at its head. Kozawa’s energy will be key in the battle as he will have to keep a tab on Atwal who is often the initiator of many ONGC moves which end with the ball in opponent’s net. It promises to be a great battle between Kozawa and the former Mohun Bagan defender Karan Atwal.

Enock Annan vs Min Chol Son

Enock Annan is in fine form for ONGC and has been banging in the goals for fun. Annan will pose the biggest threat to the Mumbai FC goal with his pace and sublime form.

He will be up against Mumbai FC’s new signing Min Chol Son who was signed from Shillong Lajong recently. Min Chol Son will be looking to stave off Annan’s threat which would go a long way in stopping ONGC from scoring, if the recent happenings are to be taken in account.

We are ready for Mumbai FC: Dharmesh Patel, ONGC Defender

ONGC’s veteran defender Dharmesh Patel expressed that his side are ready for the tough game against Mumbai FC and woved to give them a game on Saturday. “Mumbai FC is a great team and this season they have built a really strong side. We expect them to come hard at us as they prepare for the I-League, but we are prepared to fight them and in fact some of our players are very fresh after returning from a week’s break,” Dharmesh told Football Counter ahead of the massive game on Saturday.


Mumbai FC 3-1 ONGC

Mumbai FC’s superior quality would see them through against an ONGC side that has struggled defensively in recent times. The start will be crucial and if ONGC are on their game in the opening minutes, things could get very interesting.




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