Costa delighted with second-half display, Gombau left dejected
After being a goal down at half-time, Mumbai City FC came roaring back in the second-half to clinch a 4-2 thriller against Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. The Lions' inability to take their chances came back to haunt them for the umpteenth time this season. The win helped the Islanders break into the into the top four, while the club from the capital stays rooted to the bottom of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 table.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Mumbai head coach Jorge Costa summed up the match as a story of two halves. The Portuguese revealed that he tinkered with a few details, both in personnel and tactics, in the second-half, which ultimately lead to the victory. "I didn’t like the first-half. We didn’t play like we are used to do. In the first 5-10 minutes, it looked like we were still sleeping. Then in the second-half, a lot of things changed. I spoke with the players. I changed some things and we saw that on the pitch - the Mumbai City that I like, that I want and the team that is doing a very good job since the beginning of the season."
Despite putting four goals past Delhi, Mumbai often found themselves vulnerable at the back and had it not been for the Dynamos’ wastefulness in front of goal, the match might have had a very different conclusion. Costa accepted that his team were too open for his liking and said, "Second-half, it was an open game. We didn’t stay in the back defending. We were always looking to score one more. It's difficult. We flew here yesterday night and arrived at the hotel late and it took one hour to reach the stadium. When you are losing, you must run more to fight for the result. But, I’m happy. The most important thing is to go back home with the three points."
For Delhi boss Josep Gombau, it was a familiar tale, as his team failed to make the most of their opportunities. Gombau admitted that it was the visitors’ superior quality in the attacking areas that decided the outcome of the match. "It was a difficult game for us, especially the result. I think in the first-half, we played good football. We scored the goal and we got chances to increase the lead. In the second-half, it was up and down and Mumbai had more quality in the final third and they won the game," he said.
Gombau also responded to claims that his ploy to play without a recognized striker in the first-half may have backfired. The Spaniard argued that his team were, in fact, on the front foot in the first-half and had it not been for their collapse in the second-half, the plan would have been a masterstroke. "I think we decided to play with a false nine and I think it worked very well in the first-half. In the second-half, we brought in the two strikers also and yes, I think the plan was good. But in the end, in the second-half, in this transition game, we conceded from a penalty and from an own goal. We are a team who are not winning, and the mentality has started to diminish," he said.
Read the match report here.