On the eve of the game against Bengaluru FC, Jorge Costa lamented his side’s inability to keep things tight at the back and subsequently, explained that their poor defensive record wasn’t something he was proud of.
However, on Friday, the Islanders ensured that defensive calamities didn’t mar another contest as they kept only their second clean sheet of the campaign. On being asked about the same, the Portuguese replied -
I am happy with the performance and we defended from front to back, whether it was Amine, Sougou or the defenders. But, now the important thing is to continue this in the games that follow.
Apart from a defensive shut-out, Mumbai City FC were also left mesmerized at a colossal display by Rowllin Borges. For a major chunk of the season, the Indian has functioned as the deepest lying midfielder and has operated as the man to break up the opposition’s play.
However, against the defending champions, the former NorthEast United FC player took up more attacking responsibility and set up both goals. On the tweak, Costa remarked -
Today, Rowllin was in some different positions and he took up different spaces when attacking. And, I am happy that he delivered.
In the process, Sourav Das, a youngster who missed a couple of months through injury early in the term, was also cast into the spotlight, alongside Rowllin. Akin to his performance against Hyderabad FC though, the midfielder held his own as he acted as the perfect foil for Rowllin.
For large swathes of the match, Mumbai City FC kept Bengaluru FC pinned inside their own half and dominated proceedings. However, the nature of the Islanders’ goals meant that there were a few left questioning if the hosts were full value for their victory. Costa opined -
I know we were given a couple of scoring opportunities that normally don’t arise in football. But, apart from them, I feel we reduced Bengaluru to one or two chances and dominated the game. I feel we completely deserved the victory.
Having said that though, the Portuguese also quipped about the standard of refereeing, mentioning that it was something that needed to be taken care of, chipping in that the coaches didn’t really hold much sway in bringing about that change.
On being inquired about what he felt the club’s ambitions would be moving forward, Costa maintained that they intended to eke out as many points in the games that remain, meaning that they would then steal a march on those in and around them in the ISL table.
Thus, after a convincing victory, Costa had outlined what he required of his side and how their task might not be over until they seal a place in the top four.
And, akin to many a previous press conference, he explicitly stated that they would not give up, until the final minute of the final game.Published 17 Jan 2020, 22:43 IST