Hero Super Cup: Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC, and NorthEast United FC eye semi-final spot
The Hero Super Cup 2023 awaits its fourth semi-finalist when Group D comes into action on Wednesday. The Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri will witness a crucial battle between Hero Indian Super League sides Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC.
Chennaiyin are at the top of the table, albeit just a point ahead of the chasers, Mumbai City FC and North East United. For them, the math is simple. A win will guarantee a place in the semis. It gets more complicated for Mumbai, whose fate isn't in their own hands. They need a win but also need a favour from Churchill who face NEUFC. The two games will kick off simultaneously.
Revving 🆙 our ball game ahead of the crucial clash tonight! 👊 pic.twitter.com/B4KJ9g29Zp— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) April 19, 2023
Revealing the mood in the dressing room ahead of the decider, Head Coach Des Buckingham said, “The mood is good. We’ve had a win and a loss so far. In the game where we lost, the measures we held ourselves to were very high. But it was certainly not the result we wanted. We'll put ourselves in the strongest position we can to progress.”
The Islanders faced the Marina Machans twice during the Hero ISL season and emerged victorious on both occasions. Speaking on whether those results will have a positive impact on their confidence levels, Buckingham said, “This competition is totally separate from the Hero ISL. It doesn’t change our approach. Against Chennaiyin, the games have been exciting, but the group is still very much open so it will be an exciting finish for everyone.”
Chennaiyin have had a better campaign in the Cup and currently sit at the top of the Group D table. Any slip though will allow their rivals to pip them to the post. Addressing the level of threat that Mumbai City will pose on Wednesday, Head Coach Thomas Brdaric said, “It’s going to be a big challenge, but we have the advantage with four points. We know that they are the League Shield winners and have good players.”
Tonight, Group D will see War 🔥— Chennaiyin F.C. (@ChennaiyinFC) April 19, 2023
We face the Islanders with a #HeroSuperCup semifinal spot within touching distance! Let's get the job done, Machans 🙌
Watch it live on Sony Sports Network and Fancode 📹#AllInForChennaiyin #MCFCCFC pic.twitter.com/49wt57FyDL
The Marina Machans have not won any silverware since their Hero ISL title winning campaign in 2017-18. Against Mumbai City, despite losing twice during the bygone season, the Tamil Nadu-based side will be looking to provide a statement of intent. “At the high level in football, we often see close matches. We’ve played against Mumbai City, so we know how to deal with them. We have some patterns of play that we can use against them and we need to be careful with their strengths,” the German tactician concluded.
The match between Mumbai City and Chennaiyin will be telecast on the Sony Sports Network and can be streamed live on the FanCode app at 8:30 p.m. (IST).
NorthEast United FC eager to top Group D in clash against Churchill Brothers
NorthEast United FC will look for three points in order to stake a claim for the semi-finals spot in the Hero Super Cup 2023 when they take on Churchill Brothers at the EMS Stadium, Kozhikode on Wednesday, April 19.
But then, a victory alone will not solve NorthEast’s problems. They would still need a favour from the other match in the group between Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC to be played simultaneously at the Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri. As per the positions in the points table currently, a win for Chennaiyin would end North East United's hopes of qualification even if they win their match.
NorthEast United had a disappointing season – they finished last in the Hero ISL with only one win in 20 matches. They kicked off their Hero Super Cup campaign with a loss against Chennaiyin FC. But a win against Mumbai City FC in the second match put them back in contention.
Ready to pull strings in midfield again 🎩 #NEUFC #StrongerAsOne #8States1United #HeroSuperCup pic.twitter.com/Oxrp4zwk82— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) April 19, 2023
Wilmar Jordan, who scored a brace in the previous match, would be looking to add to his tally of goals. NorthEast’s Head Coach, Floyd Pinto, believes it would be a tough match against Churchill Brothers. "They have been a powerhouse in Indian football for a long time and difficult to beat", he said.
Churchill Brothers, on the other hand, are already out of the competition after securing one point from their previous two matches. But the Goan team, despite not having much success, were not disgraced. They lost their 1st match against Mumbai City narrowly and held Chennaiyin to a goalless draw. Churchill's head coach, Mateus Costa said his team will have no pressure on them since they have nothing to lose.