Mumbai City FC midfielder Lalengmawia Ralte aka Apuia is up and running for the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season. Ralte secured the winning goal in a feisty encounter against Kerala Blasters FC, marking his first goal of the season.

This victory not only launched Mumbai City FC's first home game of the season on a triumphant note but also extended their unbeaten streak. Ralte, traditionally a defensive midfielder, has transitioned to a No. 10 role this season with remarkable ease. He has seamlessly integrated into this new position, forging strong connections with his teammates in the attacking third of the field.

Mumbai City FC's head coach, Buckingham, even expressed his admiration for Ralte, emphasising his open-mindedness and eagerness to embrace new challenges.

Ralte played a pivotal role in Mumbai City FC's League Shield triumph during the previous season. He contributed significantly with three goals and showcased his prowess in the midfield with relentless tackling and pinpoint passing accuracy. In the ongoing ISL season, Apuia has etched his name in history as the first Indian goalscorer for Mumbai City FC, and he's determined to add to his goal tally.

Following the game against Kerala Blasters FC, we caught up with the midfielder, where he shared insights about his team's victory, his crucial winning goal, and much more.


A physical match and we could see how tough it was. How was your experience playing against Kerala Blasters FC?

They know us very well and that we like to play through the midfield. But we had another plan for that and the wingers played well. Luckily, we won the match. 

What was going through your mind before scoring that goal? 

As soon as they scored the equaliser, I thought it was going to be a draw. I knew that I needed to work hard and at least contribute to a goal, if not score the goal. I worked very hard and that one was a bit lucky as well. We had a lot of difficulties playing out (from the back) but I scored the second goal. I have a lot of goals coming.

How different is it playing alongside Yoell van Nieff in midfield compared to Ahmed Jahouh, who was a completely different player?

It’s a little different playing with Van Nieff. Jahouh is a player who likes to get the ball and distribute it, but with Van Nieff, he is a little bit more concentrated in his position and coordinates with me very well. So it’s not too difficult to play with him.

Diaz is on a good run of form. How does it help the team when you know that your striker will score, even with the slightest of chances? 

It is great to have Diaz in the team, because not only in scoring, he helps us in defending too. His work rate is very important for the way we play.