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I-League: Mumbai FC to face Salgaocar
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I-League: Mumbai FC to face Salgaocar

India Blooms News Service

Pune, Nov 2 (IBNS) Mumbai FC coach Khalid Jamil is not a happy man. After three rounds in the I-League this season, his boys are yet to open their account — a worst possible start for a team that survived relegation by a whisker in the last season.

So, Mumbai FC will be desperate for some points when they take on Salgaocar Sports Club, on Saturday (November 3). Salgaocar, though in a tad better position with two draws, too are yet to score a win in the season.

Mumbai are languishing at the 13th position and are yet to open account, while Salgaocar are at the 11th position with 2 points.

Not that Mumbai hasn’t played well, but they lack consistency. They almost had Pune FC on the knees before going down 2-3. Before that, in the first round, they lost by the same margin against Pailan Arrows. In the last match, against Churchill Brothers, they lost 1-3. The defeats have left coach Jamil at a loss as to what really is preventing his team from winning the matches.

Against Churchill, though Yusif Yakubu, Nicholas Rodrigues and Ndibuisi Opara worked hard upfront to create several opportunities, the team never looked confident enough for a victory.

Mumbai FC scored an own goal through Abhishek Yadav, who was playing as a defender and after being down 0-2, it was Yakubu who pulled one back. A red card for Evans Quao in the first half had already put Mumbai on the back foot.

“We made silly mistakes in all the last three matches. We are now ready to move on and get our campaign back on track,” said Jamil.

“We are desperately looking for our first win. Boys are all geared up to take on Salgaocar and I hope the result will be in our favour,” the coach tried to sound confident.

Jamil had made five changes from the team that faced Pune FC, handing Yusif Yakubu a start alongside former Churchill Brothers striker Opara. And, since that too didn’t work, it would be interesting to see the line-up Jamil comes up with against Salgaocar.

With Evans already carrying a red card, it will be on Justin Stephen, Peter Costa and William Colaco to provide the first line of defence. But at the end, it will be Yakubu and Opara who will hold the key.

Salgaocar are the only Goan outfit that hasn’t won a match yet—a dubious record that assistant coach Peter Valles would like to change at once.

“We’ve had good preparation having played three matches in Goa League,” Valles said after the team practice early on Friday (November 2) morning.

Despite failing to win a match, Valles said that the boys were confident ahead of the Mumbai match.

“We are making no changes in the team that last played a goalless draw against Pailan Arrows at home. Royston D’Souza and Collin Abranches have been in good form and did well in the Goan League matches,” he said.

Valles feels that these two players will make the difference on Saturday.

“We are well-prepared to take on Mumbai FC,” declared Valles before walking off the field.

The kick-off is at 3.00 pm.

(Image courtesy: AIFF Media)

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