Mumbai FC awaits fitness reports of Taisuke, Minchol

Mumbai has not won an away game this season but has also not succumbed to a defeat at home, and Sporting Goa — boasting of veteran striker Odafa Okolie, who is one of the top goal-scorers in the league this season (5 from 8 games) — needs to pull out all stops in order to subdue the home team.

The 33-year-old Taisuke Matsugae is a doubtful starter against Sporting Clube de Goa. (File photo)   -  H. Vibhu

Looking to bounce back after a string of three losses in its last four games, Mumbai FC awaits the fitness report of two injured foreign recruits, Taisuke Matsugae and defender Son Minchol, ahead of the I-League football game against Sporting Clube de Goa tomorrow.

“We will wait for the training session to see whether Taisuke and Minchol can take the field tomorrow. It’s an important game for us,” Mumbai coach Khalid Jamil said today.

Mumbai has not won an away game this season but has also not succumbed to a defeat at home, and Sporting Goa — boasting of veteran striker Odafa Okolie, who is one of the top goal-scorers in the league this season (5 from 8 games) — needs to pull out all stops in order to subdue the home team.

While the Nigerian, Odafa, hovers as the biggest threat for Mumbai, coach Jamil said there were others too to watch out for in the rival line-up.

“Odafa is not the only one. There are other good players too. We are happy to play at home and want a good home crowd support to egg us on,” said Jamil, whose team is currently sixth on the nine-team table.

Mumbai has inducted two seasoned campaigners, Clifford Miranda and Sandip Nandy, on loan from Indian Super League teams Atletico de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters, respectively, but the transfer process was still on, said Jamil.

“Once the transfer papers are ready, they will be available to play,” said Jamil.

The host would also be keen to avenge the 2-3 defeat to the Goans in its first leg encounter, in which its performing striker Sushil Kumar Singh scored two goals.

Sporting, which was fourth prior to today’s game between Shillong Lajong and DSK Shivajians, would be eager to continue its domination of the host.

It would be depending a lot on Odafa, who scored two penalties in its earlier win, to slice through the Mumbai defence, which may miss Son.

It also goes into the game after tasting defeat against defending champion Mohun Bagan in Kolkata.

“Yes, that win (over Mumbai) is at the back of the mind, but every game is new,” said Sporting coach Mateus Costa.

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