Mumbai City and Jorge Costa part ways
Mumbai City FC, on Thursday, announced that the club has parted ways with head coach Jorge Costa. The Portuguese leaves the Mumbai-based outfit after two seasons at the helm. Assistant coaches Marco Leite and Pedro Miguel Correia will also be leaving the club. Costa led the team to a fifth-place finish in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20.
Costa joined the Islanders in August 2018, on the lead up to the Hero ISL 2018-19 season. Life in India, however, began on a rocky note for the former Portugal international. Mumbai managed only four points from their first four matches of Hero ISL 2018-19 and on the back of a crushing 5-0 defeat to FC Goa in their fourth match, the season seemed to be heading towards a disappointing end for the Islanders.
But Costa slowly galvanized the team as the Islanders bounced back in emphatic fashion and went on a club-record nine-match unbeaten run to clinch a spot in the top four. During the run, Costa’s pragmatic brand of counter attacking football earned plaudits from all over. Unfortunately, Mumbai were knocked out in the semi-final stage by FC Goa.
Four matches into Hero ISL 2019-20, Costa found himself exactly at the same position he did in his maiden season, with the team managing just four points from these fixtures. The 48-year-old began to engineer a similar turnaround as the Islanders forced themselves back into the top four, picking up 12 points from their next six. However, injuries to key players, particularly Paulo Machado, severely handicapped them in the final stage of the league phase and Mumbai ended up just missing out the fourth spot to Chennaiyin FC in their final league stage match. Over the two seasons as the Mumbai City head coach, Costa won 17, drew 8 and lost 13 of the 38 Hero ISL matches the team played under his stewardship.
In a press release sent out by the club, Indranil Das Blah, CEO of Mumbai City FC, said, “We’d like to thank Jorge sincerely for his immense contribution to the Club during his two seasons with us, including a memorable run to the semis in his first season. Everyone at the club wishes Jorge well for the future.”
The Islanders will now begin the search for Jorge’s successor.