Mumbai City FC brought out a perfect performance out of Jorge Costa’s coaching manual to deflate Bengaluru FC 1-0 at Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. Skipper Paulo Machado’s goal meant Mumbai showed no affect of one-month international break in stretching their unbeaten streak from eight to nine matches and move to top of table.
The Portugese gaffer’s side has won seven games among those nine after receiving 5-0 thrashing from Goa FC in an away clash. The defence has been compact, keeping six clean sheets since, including against Bengaluru FC who were unbeaten in eleven matches before going down on Sunday.
Senior player Lucian Goain who has been with the club since three seasons, has been the key in the defence again. The strong defence was the main reason Mumbai City finished on top in the ISL-3 league standings and they are on their way to repeat the same with compact defending and lethal counter attacking.
Mumbai showed how they can sit back and defend well to execute plans even against strongest sides. Bengaluru FC had just the one shot on target during the entire game despite enjoying around 65 per cent possession. Visitors defence was found wanting against the pacy and physical Arnold Issoko with Modou Sogou. The latter missed a couple of scoring opportunities showing hosts created lot more chances also.
“We have to adapt for every team, we knew they will be defending high. We made very fast movements. Machado ran from the second line to score efficiently after a good pass from Rafael (Bastos). We have a good defence and defended very well. We were very good on the counter attack and in the end were part of winning team,” Goian said after the match.
The 35-year-old Romanian was happy with win over unbeaten Bengaluru but warned the challenge will be ahead to maintain top position.
“ I feel happy and this is the result of work from entire team and staff. We all deserve this position but more difficult will be to maintain that. We have keep showing that we are the best team in the league. Right now we can enjoy this victory then think about next game. WE will take game by game. We are making history about this club by remaining unbeaten in nine games in a row and we beat Bengaluru so we are on the right track,” he said.
Skipper Machado who has been Mumbai’s main man in the mid-field and has shun 2-3 kilos to be more involved in attacks and half line like on Sunday, was elated after the result.
“I feel happy we are the only team to beat Bengaluru, no body had beaten them. We want to show our fans we can be the top team,” said Machado who brought out his trademark celebration after scoring on Sunday.
“I do this celebration with kids back home. In India every one shows his celebration so I also show it,” he added.