Mumbai City FC’s head coach, Des Buckingham, expressed pride in his team’s performance despite a defeat against Al Hilal SFC in the AFC Champions League at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. The match showcased Mumbai City FC’s determination, particularly in the face of adversity, as they played with 10 men for a significant part of the game.
The contest started positively for Mumbai City FC, with the team creating promising chances in the first half and successfully holding Al Hilal at bay. However, the dynamics shifted in the second half when Mehtab Singh received a second booking, resulting in his expulsion from the field. Al Hilal capitalized on the numerical advantage, securing goals through Michael and Aleksandar Mitrovic. This 1xBet Mirror Link can further provide you odds and insights about the next matches of this valiant Mumbai Team
Al Hilal, a powerhouse in Asian football, boasts an impressive record in the AFC Champions League, having clinched the title four times. They currently lead the Saudi Pro League and remain unbeaten with 32 points from 12 games. Buckingham commended Mumbai City FC for their resilience against such a formidable opponent, considering it a positive reflection on Indian football.
“I am extremely happy with what I just watched. We played the best team in Asia. Up until the send-off (for Mehtab Singh), I thought we put on a very good show of what Indian football can do on that stage,” Buckingham remarked in the post-match press conference.
Despite the defeat, Buckingham acknowledged the hard work put in by his players, especially those who had to cover a significant amount of ground with one player less. The coach highlighted the team’s experience gained from their previous encounter with Al Hilal in Riyadh, where they suffered a 6-0 loss. This familiarity with the opponent’s style of play allowed Mumbai City FC to better prepare mentally and physically for the challenge.
Buckingham praised the tactical adjustments made by the team, emphasizing the effectiveness of a different plan implemented for this game compared to the one in Riyadh. The DY Patil Stadium witnessed an impressive attendance of 30,023 spectators, contributing to a memorable atmosphere. Buckingham regarded this turnout as a positive sign for Mumbai City FC and expressed hope for a similar fervor during their Indian Super League games at the Mumbai Football Arena.
“We’ve just had over 30,000 people come from across India to watch that game. If we can turn some of that attendance now to our games at the MFA (Mumbai Football Arena), that’s very powerful because that atmosphere was wonderful,” he said.
In conclusion, despite the disappointment of the result, Buckingham conveyed pride in the fans, stating, “Yes, it was a disappointing result, but I think the 30,000 people that came to support us can be proud of what they have seen.” The match exemplified Mumbai City FC’s determination and resilience, setting the stage for their upcoming endeavors in both domestic and international competitions.