Mumbai City was flying high when it was brought crashing down to earth by Kerala Blasters a fortnight ago. The reigning champion was humbled 0-3.
It nearly bounced back in the following match against NorthEast United, but had to deal with an inspired show by the Jamaican striker Deshorn Brown, who scored a brilliant hat-trick in a 3-3 draw.
Mumbai should be hoping to return to top form on Monday, when it takes on Odisha FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco.
Odisha too will be desperate for a win. It hasn’t won a game after defeating NorthEast United 1-0. Since then it has lost three and drew one. It is not just the defeats that the team management has to worry about. It was thrashed 0-4 by Jamshedpur and 1-6 by Hyderabad in the last match and has to up its defensive game. In eight matches, Odisha has conceded 20 goals, more than any other team this season.
“There are some moments where we made individual mistakes and that cost us the game, but we cannot blame anyone,” said Odisha assistant coach Kino Garcia. “The coaching staff will take the responsibility first and then the players. We will keep trying to find a solution and are confident of getting better.”
Mumbai coach Des Buckingham also spoke of the importance of defence. “We need to make sure defensively we are well placed,” he said. “We want to continue playing attacking football but we need to be good defensively as well.”
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