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ISL 2017/18: Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes feels Sunil Chhetri's penalty turned the game

Alexandre Guimaraes
Alexandre Guimaraes
Somesh Chandran

Mumbai City FC went down 0-1 to Bengaluru FC in Thursday's ISL match up. The hosts never looked in control and ultimately paid the price for some shoddy defending.

Bengaluru's players made merry of the situation and sliced open Mumbai's back four on multiple occasions. Mumbai coach, Alexandre Guimaraes reckons the penalty courtesy which BFC took the lead (Sunil Chhetri) changed the course of the match.

"We played a very good first half which was an open game. But unfortunately, they profited from the penalty. At halftime we spoke some things in the dressing room but they (BFC) got an early second goal, it became more difficult," he said.

Bengaluru specifically targeted Mumbai's left wing. Raju Gaikwad and Abhinas Ruidas, both of whom had a torrid time in shoring up the back line. Gaikwad limped off the pitch and Ruidas who initially began the game as a winger had to once again operate as a left back. BFC took full advantage of this situation and attempted to tire the makeshift full back all night long which ultimately resulted in their second goal.

"We knew from the beginning that they will do that, we knew that they would double team Raju Gaikwad and then Ruidas. In the first half, we managed it more or less, it was an equal game. Then their tactics changed the outcome of the game," he explained.

Guimaraes believes his side's inability to finish off their moves came back to haunt them. Case in point being Balwant Singh who missed a glorious opportunity to convert an open header in the first half. The forward could only place it and Gurpreet had no trouble in easily parrying it away from goal.

"Reaching the final third, we didn't have the quality to finish or choose better. That off-course is what the game is about, right?", he stated.

Mumbai City FC now have a rest period of nine days after which they will lock horns with FC Goa on January 28.


Edited by Argha Bhattacharya

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