ISL: Sereno focused on beating Mumbai City despite tantalising playoff prospect

FC Pune City confirmed its first-ever Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs berth despite a crushing 4-0 defeat to FC Goa on Sunday, but the fate of Chennaiyin FC and rest of the chasing pack could take an interesting turn.

Chennaiyin FC ISL

Chennaiyin FC, currently on 29 points, will aim for a win against Mumbai City FC on March 3 to cement its playoff berth.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

FC Pune City confirmed its first-ever Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs berth despite a crushing 4-0 defeat to FC Goa on Sunday, but the fate of Chennaiyin FC and rest of the chasing pack could take an interesting turn.

With only a game or two left for the teams, there is a possibility that a maximum of four teams — Pune City, Chennaiyin FC, Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC — could end the league stages on 29 points. In such a scenario, Pune and Chennaiyin will finish second and third due to their superior head-to-head point record against the clubs involved.

The 2015 champion, currently on 29 points, could also qualify by earning a point in its final game against Mumbai City FC on March 3 at the Marina Arena.

However, Chennaiyin could lose out on a top-four place to Mumbai if either of the following scenarios plays out. If both teams finish level on points and if Goa wins its remaining games, Mumbai will go through on head-to-head record. Mumbai will need to win its game in hand, and win by a two-goal margin against Chennaiyin to creep into the top four if there is a three-way tie with Pune City. 

“We are aware that our place could be in danger if those teams finish level on points with us,” captain Henrique Sereno told Sportstar.

“We hope that Goa and Mumbai cannot win its two matches in hand so that we can stay in the top four place. But our focus is on winning against Mumbai.”

Dhanpal Ganesh added, “We are not thinking of that right now. If we have to beat Mumbai, we will beat Mumbai.”