Mumbai City FC’s tails are up: Ogbeche ahead of final against ATK Mohun Bagan

Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan will fight for Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 trophy when the two sides meet in the grand finale at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The same two sides were also in contention to win the Hero ISL League Winners Shield before the Islanders beat the Mariners to the top spot of the league stage and secured a place in the group stage of next season’s AFC Champions League.

Having achieved one of their primary targets for the season, Mumbai City FC are confident of securing a positive result on Saturday against one of the powerhouses in Indian football, according to Islanders striker Bartholomew Ogbeche. “The shield was absolutely one of our objectives. We wanted to qualify for the AFC Champions League, which we have been able to achieve and that is fantastic.

“Being able to do that against one of the powerhouses of Indian football is also a big boost to our morale. Now we are up against them again in the final. Another mountain to climb for us,” the Nigerian forward said on ‘Let’s Football Live’ with Anant Tyagi on the eve of the match.

The striker, who has scored eight goals this season besides providing two assists, pinpointed ‘humility’ as a key factor behind their progress. “The [Mumbai City FC] coaches firstly emphasise ambition but they also emphasise our humility. We are human beings, so we tend to let complacency kick in when we achieve a [significant] level of success.

“We achieved the league shield, the AFC Champions League got us going. As senior players, we remind the players to be humble. That is one of the reasons why we have come this far. We want to win the final,” said the 36-year-old forward.

The Islanders have already beaten the Mariners twice this season, and Ogbeche found the back of the net in both matches. However, he believes that the final will be a completely different affair. “...At this moment, I think they are the best team. To be where they are, they absolutely deserve that. It’s going to be a tough, tough game. Completely different game, compared to the other two that we have played,” he said.  

However, he is also optimistic about their chances of winning a first-ever Hero ISL title. “We have our tails up to be honest. We are confident about that. We are really optimistic and upbeat about the game,” he said.

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