We were unlucky not to come out with at least a point

We were unlucky not to come out with at least a point

This was Mumbai City’s last game in ACL 2023-24.

Mumbai City FC concluded their journey in the AFC Champions League 2023-24 with a 2-1 defeat in their last group stage encounter against Navbahor at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune.

The match started with an early goal by El Khayati for Mumbai in the 18th minute of play. Navbahor replied instantly with a goal by Jamshid Iskanderov in the 29th minute and ultimately took the lead in the 45+4 minute with a goal by Jovan Dokic.  

Let’s have a look at what coach of Mumbai City, Anthony Fernandes said after the match in the post-match press conference. 

A close encounter

Mumbai undoubtedly showcased superior ball control throughout the match. However, their struggle to convert their opportunities into goals ultimately hindered their progress, leaving them trailing behind their opponents.

Anthony Fernandes said, “I think the boys were good today. We played a very good brand of football. We were unlucky not to come out with at least a point. But this is how the AFC is. You need to be very focused throughout the entire 90 minutes. We were creating a lot of chances. It’s just the finishing that is lacking. But we took a lot of positives out of this match, which was a close encounter.”

Improvement of skills

When asked about improvement of football in India to compete in the AFC leagues, Anthony said, “Cannot say that it is impossible for you to comprehend. This is merely the third instance wherein an Indian team is participating and has reached here. Therefore, it is important for you to understand that progress is occurring gradually. It is not as if we are not making improvements.”

“Rather, we are making consistent strides each day towards enhancing our football skills. With optimism, it can be anticipated that the Indian team will perform exceedingly well in the future”, he added. 

Return of El Kyayati 

Adbenasser El Khayati returned from injury and scored the first goal for the side in the match as well as in the league. 

Anthony Frenandes not only praised El Kyayati, but also expressed his appreciation for the accompanying players. He said, “Not only El Kyayati, but every member from that squad is crucial for our team. Given our frequent games every four days, we rely on the entire squad to step up whenever called upon. This principle applies to El Kyayati as well, despite his recent return from an injury. It is important to acknowledge the collective effort of all players who have performed exceptionally in today’s competitive market.”

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