Costa expects exciting encounter against Goa

Mumbai City FC will look to get back to the top of the 2018-19 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) standings when they take on FC Goa at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday. The Islanders don’t have fond memories of facing the Gaurs this season, having gone down 5-0 in the reverse fixture back in October. However, that painful loss sparked a positive response from Mumbai, as they went on to string together a nine-match unbeaten streak after that match.

At the pre-match press conference, Mumbai head coach Jorge Costa shed some light on what to expect from the tie. Asked if Mumbai would be treating Friday's match as an opportunity to exact some sort of revenge, Costa said, "I knew people would ask me this. The Goa game was a bad day for us with a bad result. After that, things are much better. We did not change too much. That game was in the beginning of the season. Tomorrow, we will have a different game for sure. I don’t know what the final result will be, but it will not be like the first game, that is for sure."

Goa have scored 27 goals so far this season - the most by any team. Quizzed on what the game plan to deal with the Gaurs' potent attacking threat will be, Costa responded, "We have our way of playing and they have theirs. Tomorrow we will have a good game between two teams that are in very good shape. Yes, Goa know how to keep the ball with very good players but fortunately, we know what to do."

The Islanders will go into the match full of confidence after beating table-toppers Bengaluru FC in their last match. Talking about the victory, Costa remarked, "We are a family and we can see this inside the field. It was special beating Bengaluru, but it is the same beating Pune or Kerala. It was a normal game against one of the best teams in India and we got the three points."

From Goa’s end, assistant coach Jesus Tato was present to answer the media’s questions. The Spaniard acknowledged Mumbai are strong opponents and predicted a tough game ahead. "Since the defeat in Goa, Mumbai have been in great form and they have had a great comeback. If we are not at our 100%, it will be a tough, tough game," he said.

Talking about the ongoing top four race, Tato seemed confident that his side has what it takes to make it through to the knockouts. "It is true that we are in the process of making the playoffs. There are other teams that are behind us who are pushing us. It will be tough, but we will do our best. We trust in ourselves and we believe that we will make it," he said.

Read the match preview here.

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