Must-win game for Mumbai FC

With just 13 points after 14 matches, Mumbai FC is desperate to claw back from the bottom in the nine-team league.

Mumbai FC has never finished higher than seventh in the I-League.   -  I-League

After a series of drawn games, Mumbai FC faces a must-win situation at home against Shillong Lajong in the penultimate match of the current I-League season. The Cooperage stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the host, though pressure will be on MFC on Sunday night. With just 13 points after 14 matches, the home side is desperate to claw back from the bottom in the nine-team league.

MFC’s situation is made tougher by Shillong’s predicament, seventh position (15 points) and also chasing a win and three points to move clear of the relegation zone. MFC coach Khalid Jamil, pushed into a corner, is clear about what he expects from his boys, “Our last chance to avoid the drop, so we look at this match as a do-or-die situation.”

He takes hope from MFC’s drawn tie against East Bengal in the previous game. “We have done well in the home matches, I am expecting a good contest and will look towards a favourable result,” said Jamil, The last time these two sides clashed, Shillong won by six goals. "We can’t take them lightly. Shillong Lajong will punish you. It will be difficult, but we need to give it our best effort,” Jamil added.

Shillong coach T. Singto also stressed on the criticality of a positive result. “We have not performed as per our expectations and Mumbai FC is a compact team with some good individual players. I expect a tough match.”

The visitor will miss Brazilian striker Uiliam Souza Silva, ruled out due to a red card earned in the previous away game against Sporting Clube de Goa.

Jamil has an almost full squad, with only central defender Pratik Chowdhary unavailable. The side has held its own in the defensive zone, but the work in the rival half has to move up by several notches. The strikers too need to fire in front of vocal home fans.

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