Very happy with the way we defended, especially in the second half: Mumbai City FC’s Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham was pleased to keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over FC Goa in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) Match at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Saturday.

Mehtab Singh (35’) headed the Islanders into the lead in the first half and a second was added by Diego Mauricio (86’) late in the game to secure the three points.

This win puts defending champions back in the semi-final race, as they stand fourth in the league table with 31 points from 18 matches. While the Gaurs stays at ninth position.

Match Report: Clinical Mumbai City FC see off FC Goa to boost semi-final chances

Buckingham addressed the media after the game.

Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

Kerala Blasters had jumped over you just right before you kicked off. Did winning this became more important to you?

I didn't know the result of the other game before we kicked off, it's not important for me what other teams are doing, the main thing is that we focus on what we were doing. And tonight, it was important that we come away with a win, and not only have we done that we've come away with a clean sheet. 

Would you agree this was a result which you had to grind out by working against the FC Goa?

FC Goa is a wonderful team, they play some good possession-based football. And we knew that obviously they are out of semi-finals and they'd give games to two players that maybe have not played so much. That's always a challenge in itself because they want to come in and prove that they're capable of planning this level. It was very pleasing with how we went about our business, especially with the goal in the first half and what we showed in the second half was a fantastic way of defending, we really kept ther out, we knew they'd have the ball. Then for Diego to come on as the change and have an impact to secure the game 2-0 that was very pleasing.

Nawaz gave away a penalty and then saved it. How much of a confidence booster that would be for him?

Yeah, I'd prefer if we don't give a penalty. So again, you give people a chance to redeem themselves. And he did, it was an excellent save from the penalty.

FC Goa were allowed to have more possession and shots. Was that a tactical move?

Yeah, it was. We know how Goa like to play. I think in most of the games, if not all the games this season, they've had more possession. We needed to be smart about how we set up. I was very happy with how we defended especially more so in the second half. We got our goal at halftime and as I said, we should have had a couple more. We needed to be smart when we won the ball. And for me, we've won four games in five now, we've got a very young side.

Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC in the final two games. Does it get any better?

That’s very exciting. They're the two games that you look forward to. We've played both of them already. They're very good teams. I've spoken about coming into the back end of the season with momentum, you know, we've won four and five now two consecutive clean sheets. And we've got all our players fresh and ready to go again. We’re looking forward to the next game.

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