Mumbai City FC players on cloud nine after maiden Hero ISL triumph, Goddard dedicates final win to Ranawade
Mumbai City FC won Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 in dramatic fashion after Bipin Singh scored the winner in the last minute of regulation time to give them a 2-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday. It was the Islanders’ second silverware this season having also clinched the League Winners Shield at the expense of the Mariners in the last match of the league stage. Saturday’s win in the final was even more dramatic as they left it late before getting over the line in a manner befitting a champion team. After the final, indiansuperleague.com caught up with a few of Mumbai City FC’s players and they shared their thoughts on the club’s maiden triumph in the Hero ISL. Here are some excepts.
How are you feeling right now?
We are feeling great. It was a very tough game and we knew that before the start of the game. I think we showed our character and game spirit. So, very happy.
How are you going to celebrate tonight?
I feel everyone is just going to go crazy. We are all thinking about Amey Ranawade [who suffered a serious injury during the game and had to be taken off the pitch]. Hopefully he is all good. This win was for him.
What are your feelings for Amey? A quick message for him...
We were very scared and very worried when he fell on the pitch but fortunately, we got some news a few minutes later at halftime that he was okay, so we were feeling better because of that. We will wait for him to celebrate the title with us.
How good is it to return and take the team home?
It was a bit difficult for me, because I missed four games [due to suspension], and I returned 10 days ago. We played three games and in the semi-finals where we also played 120 minutes (in the second leg before winning on penalties against FC Goa). Physically it was very hard, but finally we did all together with a strong mindset.
How did the squad come together?
This is a team with a lot of football quality, but not only that. There are a lot of human qualities as well… We are all like a family, and this is what made the difference this season because living in the bubble is very tough.
How does it feel to have won the Hero ISL in your third season?
It feels fantastic. It feels really awesome to be honest. It hasn’t really sunk in yet but I'm really proud to be able to do it. It’s all about life, keep on trying. Before I got into the final, I remember one of the words of the greatest athletes ever, Michael Jordan. He failed over and over again, that is why he succeeded. So, I have been trying, and I just know that I have to keep on going with faith in my abilities. I am just grateful to god and very thankful.
Is this close to a perfect season for you?
There is always room for improvement, but in terms of objectives, yes. We are coming together for the first time, ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC, these are teams that have players that have been together for a longer time than we have been. So, for us to be able to do this at the first attempt, I'm just at a loss for words, to be honest. It’s a perfect season for us. Really happy for the guys. Happy for the whole Mumbai City FC family.
After a long wait, the Islanders have finally won the Hero ISL. How do you feel?
It’s an amazing feeling. I think everyone is proud and very happy. We finished at the top of the league stage. After that we kept the team’s momentum at the same level. To prepare and then win the semi-finals is not easy. It’s very difficult. I am really proud of my boys who did very well in the semi-finals. We had the same mentality and the same focus. If you see we tried to control the match from the first minute. I am very proud of my boys.