With an eventful and glistening Navratri coming to an end, the state of Maharashtra was gearing up for the much-awaited clash between Mumbai City FC and FC Pune City. Carrying the upbeat environment at the field, the Islanders clinched 3 points against the visiting side by registering 2 goals coming from Modou Sougou and Raphael Bastos in the first half. Mumbai City FC’s gaffer Jorge Costa tasted his first victory last night on Indian soil after competing in three matches.
On being asked about Machado’s promising performance and responsibility as a new leader, Costa quoted “I have some leaders in my squad, Machado is one of them. He has worked very hard and is an important player for the squad.” No doubt the Portuguese midfielder has played his part and assisted Modou Sougou opening his scoring sheet for the current season.
Mumbai City FC had an impressive start to the ”Maha-Derby” as they played aggressively both in possession and without possession. Costa believes the team created better gameplay with the ball compared to the other two matches which they played against Kerala and Jamshedpur. Regarding the halftime team talk, “At halftime, I asked the players to play defensive and to be compact, try keeping the ball and score goals. The team spirit resulted in our favour. We could have scored 2 more goals but at the end of the day 3 points are what we require”, replied the Portuguese coach.
In the dying moments of the clash, the stadium witnessed a controversial decision coming from the very experienced Santosh Kumar who whistled towards the penalty spot on a dilemmatic foul committed against Arnold Issoko. But, that was not the only moment as the stadium witnessed an obdurate situation between Lucian Goian and Arnold Issoko about taking the penalty as the players exchanged few sardonic words against each other. Costa though made it clear at the post-match conference by saying, “If Rafael is not confident taking the shot it’s gonna be Lucian Goian but at times players think they can do anything they wish to. But my preferences shall always be Bastos and Goian as my leaders”. The resulting shot was a weak shot saved by the Stallion’s shot-stopper Kaith diving at his right side.
The team looks robust having Subhasish and Goian as the Centre Backs and being asked about Subhasish’s change in position and his possibilities to continue as a centre back, Costa replied, “I’m happy with Subhasish as a CB. If he’s consistent with his task, then I’m looking forward to playing him as a Centre-back”. Subhasish Bose did stop some goal-bound shots and passes which has surely caught the fan’s attention. He recently played as a centre back for the National side against China and did justice to his role on the Chinese soil. So, there might be a possibility that we will see Subhasish as a Centre-back in the near future.
At last, the gaffer concluded with a guffaw by quoting, “To be honest, I’m happy the club management is happy, the fans are happy, the players are happy and I hope in the next game we can see all the 9000 fans present at the stadium.”