Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 | Last Update : 06:32 PM IST

Mumbai had their chances

THE ASIAN AGE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published : Feb 1, 2019, 1:08 am IST
Updated : Feb 1, 2019, 1:08 am IST

FC Goa striker Coro reflects on their 5-0 win over the Islanders last time.

The Islanders had scored just a win until then and ghosts of first two seasons and ISL-4 had started knocking at their doors.
 The Islanders had scored just a win until then and ghosts of first two seasons and ISL-4 had started knocking at their doors.

Mumbai City were staring at yet another poor campaign after they received 5-0 thrashing from FC Goa in October. The Islanders had scored just a win until then and ghosts of first two seasons and ISL-4 had started knocking at their doors. But the Portugese coach Jorge Costa re-ignited the self-belief in players and the Islanders have seen a remarkable turnaround since and are on course to repeat ISL-3 performance when they topped the League.

One man in the opposite camp, Goa FC striker, Ferran Corominas (Coro) who started the onslaught in that match with sixth minute penalty conversion isn’t surprised with Mumbai City’s nine-match unbeaten streak.

“To be fair they had a lot of chances but they didn’t make it. We had a good game and every shot we took was on target. They are a good team and it was a big win for us,” Coro told this newspaper on Thursday.

The Ranbir Kapoor co-owned franchise meet their first leg nemesis at Mumbai Football Arena on Friday. In their last meeting, while Mumbai were struggling to get a foothold in the tournament, Goa were in ruthless form. Now Mumbai City fresh from a win over table toppers Bengaluru FC are enjoying a purple patch while Goa FC have managed just a win in last five games. Both are currently in the top four and will like to bag three points on Friday to strengthen their position.

“It would be really tough game for us at their stadium. They were at the top of the table (briefly). We have no choice but to go there and get three points. We and Mumbai are fighting for playoff spots, so all games are more important now,” added Coro who is joint top scorer in the League with 10 goals.

The 36-year-old Spanish striker who played for La Liga club Espanyol for the bulk of his career felt as professionals they have to adapt to breaks in ISL. “You have to adapt to a calendar. Sometimes there will be two games in a week and then there will be breaks. As players we have to get ready in the best way possible and go for every point in every game,” he said.

Coro has been the player to look out for youngsters like Brandon Fernandes and Manvir Singh. “I like to give some instructions in training. But these are things that come with experience and learning. There is quite bit of improvement from youngsters,” Coro said.

“The way (senior) professional players train having confidence with the ball and the way they play, we keep looking up to them. Coro played lot in La Liga. He is a special player and there is lot to learn from him,” Fernandes said.

Brandon's stint at Mumbai City
Brandon Fernandes started his ISL career in the inaugural season with Mumbai City but his promising season was marred with injuries. “ I have been through bad phase but injuries are part of career and when you fall down then only you get up and I have moved on from there,” he said.

The injury in 2015 halted Brandon’s career with the national team but the 24-year-old is hopeful to play for India. “It has been a good journey and this season I did well and am now hoping to continue same way and win ISL. Playing for India is my aim,” he said.

The Goan attacking midfielder felt he was perfectly suited for Spanish coach Sergio Lobera’s style of possession football. “Sergio is special and different kind of coach. I played such possession football in Cape Town and I like this style of play. It gives players freedom and let players keep the ball and show what is he capable of doing with the ball,” Fernandes said.

Tags: fc goa, mumbai football arena