Super Cup: Under-strength Mumbai City comes up against East Bengal

East Bengal, which failed to lift the I-league title last month, will come face-to-face against Mumbai City FC in the Round-of-16 match of the Super Cup.

East Bengal's Mahmoud Amna reacts after the I-League match against NEROCA FC.   -  AIFF Media

East Bengal has left the woes of losing the I-League title in Kolkata before landing on Bhubaneswar to take the fight to Mumbai City FC in the penultimate game of the Super Cup Round-of-16 match on Thursday.

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"We have to be positive before hitting the pitch tomorrow (Thursday). We are not thinking about the past. East Bengal have a matured set of players who have trained very hard for last few days before coming here," coach Khalid Jamil said in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

The Red & Golds are going to approach the game with a more patient lookout and they'll prefer to read their opponents before hurling the attacks on the Mumbai-based club.

"Surely we'll tweak our strategy for a knockout game. We have to be more patient. It's our first match at this ground whereas Mumbai have already been here once. We have to be very alert defensively and mentally strong to get the job done", Jamil added.  

Everyone sans Md. Rafique is available for selection and that would surely provide Jamil more options to try out.

The Brazilian defender Eduardo Ferreira added, "The preparation has been same for us. We are very serious and we know how better they are as a team. We are training quite hard. Everyone has to be on their toes throughout and we can't afford to make a mistake tomorrow (Thursday)."

Mumbai City's coach Alexandre Guimarães showed his joy to be back at the tournament having overcome the resilient Indian Arrows in the qualifiers.

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"First of all, it's nice to be back again in the tournament. We had a tough game against Indian Arrows. Every game is going down the wire and every team has to toil hard to get the success", the Costa Rica-based coach mentioned.

"We respect our opponent but we are here with a strong will to win. We know that we are going to play a team who has a great history and legacy."

Agile winger Sahil Tavora also chipped in and said that the Indian players are aware of the legacy that their counterpart have but they are not taking Thursday's game differently than another competitive game.

"We have seen their games and we are planning accordingly. It's not going to be an easy game for us. They are a very strong team. But, we are looking to the match like another competitive game and our attitude will be same."

Meanwhile, MCFC has come with two foreigners and the coach feels this is a brilliant opportunity for the local boys to step up and live up to the expectation.

"This is the time for our local guys to take the responsibility and show their potential on the pitch. We have seen a few of their matches and surely the match is going to very competitive and a taxing one", Guimarães stated.

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