Mumbai City FC ended their Indian Super League campaign with a bang, as they sealed their first ever away victory in two season with a very late strike from Sony Norde over defending champions Atletico de Kolkata.
The Blue Devils had to deal with torrential rain in flood-hit Chennai for two days after being knocked out of the tournament, but managed to find the second wind against Atletico de Kolkata despite conceding an equaliser on the 90th minute. Manager Nicolas Anelka was seen praising the teama s fighting attitude in the post match press conference after his team managed to snatch all three points against the defending champions.
a We lost the game in Chennai but we always wanted to show the desire to win. Everybody was focused on the game, we wanted to win, against Kolkata who’re at the top of the table.
a We came here to play football, and we played without pressure. We deserved to win. I’m very proud. It’s our first win away from home.a
Anelkaa s regrets
The Frenchman regretted that his team couldn’t produce such performances earlier on in the season as they failed to qualify for the last four.
“It’s a shame, we could have done a lot better. Sometime you win sometime you lose, maybe we will do well next season. But it’s good to finish on a win which may be a starting point me for next season.”
Anelka had previously hinted he would not want to return to India next but following the win, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid star seems willing to return to India.
“I don’t know yet. I just want to enjoy today. We made history. I have time to think about the rest.”
Habasa unsuccessful experiment
Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Lopez Habas, having already sealed their place in the semis, had opted for an experimental lineup that seemed to have almost brought home a point for the Red and Whites only for Sony Norde to prove otherwise. Habas, though, was careful to manage the expectations of the supporters, as he fired warning shot to his potential opponents in the semi finals.
“It will be absolutely different in the semifinal. Today it was a different day the boys did not have 100 per cent intensity. There was too much of external distractions having qualified to the semis with a game in hand.”
Habas preferred not to risk Botswana international Ofentse Nato, who already has three bookings to his name, for the inconsequential match.
“Nato had three yellow cards so we didn’t risk him.”
Image Courtesy: ISL Media Team