New era under Buckingham: Will Mumbai City FC defend the League Winners’ Shield and the ISL trophy?

Photo credit: Mumbai City FC Facebook

Last season turned out to be a historic one for the Islanders as they became the first team to win both -- the League Winners’ Shield as well as the ISL trophy. With head coach Sergio Lobera - who managed the club’s outstanding campaign last season - stepping down, the side will be managed by former Melbourne City assistant coach, Des Buckingham for the Hero ISL 2021-22 season.

“I am thrilled to be joining Mumbai City at such a successful period in the club’s history. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Australia, but the opportunity to take control of the defending ISL Champions was impossible to turn down,” revealed Buckingham on taking up the role of head coach at Mumbai City FC.

The 2021-22 ISL campaign might be a challenging one for Mumbai due to Buckingham’s philosophy and style of play, to adapt to his tactics and gameplay, but the goal will be the same: to repeat last year’s success.

Tournament History

Mumbai City FC have climbed their way up the ladder to achieve the historic feat of the previous season and it wasn’t an easy one. The Citizens had made it to the top four on only three previous occasions: 2016 season, 2018-19 season, and the 2020-21 season. With several squad overhauls and managerial changes, the defending champions tasted success under former coach Sergio Lobera in the previous season.

Players to watch out for

  • Igor Angulo

Angulo caught everyone’s eye last season as he produced 14 goals for FC Goa, winning the Golden Boot that season.

With a move to the Islanders, the Spaniard will be an essential element to Buckingham’s side due to his goalscoring talent and clinical finishing, being a threat in the opponent’s box.

  • Lalengmawia Ralte (Apuia)

Ralte established himself as a starter in the 2020-21 season for NorthEast United FC and surprised everyone with his leadership skills.

The 20-year-old became the youngest ever captain in Hero ISL history, and also won the Emerging Player of the Season. It’s not surprising that the Islanders signed the central midfielder given his incredible passing accuracy and fearless on-pitch attitude.

  • Cassio Gabriel

The Islanders signed Brazilian midfielder Cassio Gabriel from Brazilian club Vila Nova on a season-long loan. The 29-year-old has a broad experience, representing several Brazilian clubs.

MCFC will be deploying his versatility of playing as a winger as well as an attacking midfielder to create more goalscoring opportunities.

Read here for all the transfer activity by Mumbai City FC

Key Battle

Mumbai City’s rivalry with FC Goa has always been an intense one. A highly contested fixture, the Islanders have scored 20 goals against the Goan side and conceded 38, winning five games and losing seven across seasons.

Furthermore, MCFC’s worst losses in ISL history have come at the hands of the Gaurs: a 7-0 loss in 2015, a 5-0 loss in 2018, and a 5-1 loss in 2019. Ahead of the upcoming Hero ISL 2021-22 season, the Islanders have snapped up Golden Boot winner Igor Angulo and Mohammad Nawaz, further adding more excitement to the budding rivalry.

MCFC begin their Hero ISL 2021-22 campaign against the Gaurs on 22nd November 2021 at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda.

Fixtures

Date

Fixture

Venue

22/11/2021

Mumbai City FC v/s FC Goa

PJN Stadium, Fatorda

27/11/2021

Mumbai City FC v/s Hyderabad FC

PJN Stadium, Fatorda

01/12/2021

ATK Mohun Bagan v/s Mumbai City FC

PJN Stadium, Fatorda

04/12/2021

Bengaluru FC v/s Mumbai City FC

Athletic Stadium, Bambolim

09/12/2021

Mumbai City FC v/s Jamshedpur FC

PJN Stadium, Fatorda

15/12/2021

Mumbai City FC v/s Chennaiyin FC

PJN Stadium, Fatorda

19/12/2021

Mumbai City FC v/s Kerala Blasters FC

PJN Stadium, Fatorda

27/12/2021

NorthEast United FC v/s Mumbai City FC

PJN Stadium, Fatorda

03/01/2022

Odisha FC v/s Mumbai City FC

Tilak Maidan Stadium

07/01/2022

SC East Bengal v/s Mumbai City FC

Tilak Maidan Stadium

Squad

Goalkeepers: Mohammed Nawaz, Phurba Lachenpa, Vikram Singh

Defenders: Amey Ranawade, Valpuia Hmingthanmawia, Huidrom Singh, Mandar Dessai, Mehtab Singh, Mohamad Rakip, Rahul Bheke, Mourtada Fall, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy

Midfielders: Ahmed Jahouh, Bradden Inman, Cassio Gabriel, Chanso Horam, Lalengmawia Ralte, Asif Khan, Tondomba Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges

Forwards: Bipin Singh, Gurkirat Singh, Igor Angulo, Pranjal Bhumij, Vikram Singh, Ygor Catatau

Your Comments