If you want to see a club have a record-breaking, historic season, go no further than Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23. The Islanders were in a league of their own when they won the League Shield in spectacular fashion. Mumbai City FC scored the most goals (54 in a single season) and earned the most points (46) in a single season. Mumbai City FC came close to ending the season unblemished, but two defeats in their final two league games meant they fell short. Still, the record-breaking Islanders had a fantastic season.
Des Buckingham and his team started the season with a high-scoring tie against Hyderabad FC, and from then they were unstoppable. Mumbai City FC experienced moments of brilliance on the pitch more frequently than not, thanks to their depth and quality dispersed over the pitch. If the assault was devastating, the defence was rock solid, resulting in seven clean sheets. Meanwhile, the midfield, composed of Greg Stewart, Ahmed Jahouh and Lalengmawia Ralte pulled the threads together for the club. The Islanders’ historic League Shield victory was the result of a team effort.
Des Buckingham On Mumbai City FC
With two consecutive defeats at the end of the league phase and a semi-final exit to Bengaluru FC, a season with too many positives was put on hold, but it did not derail the ray of hope within the fans or the head coach, who said, “When I look back across these 10 to 12 months, I am proud of what we have been able to do.”
“When you look back over the previous 10 to 12 months, we’re quite happy of what we’ve been able to do, including the season, but more importantly, how we’ve gone about playing to achieve that and success. So we’ll come back, build on what we’ve got, and be ready,” Buckingham stated following their semi-final loss.
22 times played Wins: 15 Draws: 4 3 losses
Mumbai City FC’s historic season began with a 3-3 tie against Hyderabad FC in their first game. They started the season with an 18-game undefeated streak, scoring 54 goals and keeping seven clean sheets on their route to a League Shield victory with a record 46 points.
If the start was explosive, Mumbai City FC was unable to reproduce it in the second half of the season, when they suffered two defeats in their final two league games. When the scores were at 2-2 after two legs of play, Bengaluru FC won the match in a penalty shootout.
Des Buckingham’s team enjoyed a successful campaign. Mumbai City FC possessed a great group that was ready for the task, from defence to attack, with youthful players integrating well with their older counterparts.
The Islanders’ season goal total of 54 demonstrated how they were in a league of their own. It was a significant increase from the 36 goals they scored the previous season, when they finished sixth.
In a season where it was difficult to sift out the negatives, Mumbai City FC’s concern was goals surrendered from set-pieces. Defeats in their final two league games hurt their momentum heading into the semi-finals, thereby ending their hopes of repeating as Hero ISL champions in 2020-21.
Lallianzuala Chhangte, a 25-year-old winger, rose to the occasion this season, and his goals were a huge blessing for Mumbai City FC. Chhangte was an important member of Buckingham’s team, scoring 16 goals (10 goals and six assists) in 20 games. His lethal alliance with fellow Indian Bipin Singh was instrumental in the Islanders winning their second League Shield.
Chhangte completed his season with honours and individual honour as he was named the 2022-23 Hero of the League, earning honours for his best-ever Hero ISL season in terms of goal contributions.
Best Young Player
Mehtab Singh, a 24-year-old defender, was a rock at the back for Mumbai City FC, helping the Islanders concede only 21 goals all season. Singh was one of the season’s most promising young players in the Hero ISL. He played 21 games for Des Buckingham’s team and was a danger on both ends of the ball, scoring two goals.
What do they require for the following season?
For a Mumbai City FC team with so much to look forward to, this season will undoubtedly be remembered as they strive to improve in the future. Buckingham will strive to retain his team’s high standards and consistency from this season while continuing to compete for trophies.
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