Mumbai City FC has announced the departure of head coach Jorge Costa along with assistant coaches Marco Leite and Pedro Miguel Correia. This brings an end to a couple of roller-coaster seasons for the Portuguese tactician as the Islanders failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Jorge Costa had joined Mumbai City FC before the commencement of the 2018/19 season after the club had parted ways with Alexandre Guimaraes. He took over the club after the team finished 7th on the table in the previous season. He brought in a lot of successful changes as the team finished 3rd but lost in the semi-finals against FC Goa.
As he parts ways with the club, let's have a look at the best 3moments Costa had with the Islanders.
#1. Beating Kerala Blasters 6-1.
12th December 2018. The night Mumbai City FC decimated the Blasters and hammered the final nail in the coffin for David James. Costa's men destroyed Kerala Blasters as they netted in 6 goals as they left the young Dheeraj Singh red-faced. The onslaught started in the 11th minute as Moudou Sougou gave Mumbai the lead early on. As the teams went in the dressing room at half-time, Mumbai had scored 3 and Seminlen Doungel scoring one for the visitors.
The next 45 minutes were a breeze for the Islanders. Rafael Bastos and Matias Mirabaje were scoring for fun as a couple of long-rangers found the back of the net. At the full-time whistle, Mumbai had scored 6, sending Kerala Blasters home with a sacked coach and a battered squad.
This certainly counts as one of the best moments for the boss as his tactics had worked and he left the Blasters' defence in tatters.
#2. Qualifying for the playoffs
During the 2018/19 season, MCFC amassed a total of 30 points with 9 wins and 6 draws as they finished 3rd on the table after matchday 18, proving to be the dark horses of the league. After not qualifying for the playoffs the previous season, Costa's magic reaped fruits after his super signings like Arnold Issoko, Moudou Sougou and Paulo Machado carried the team throughout the season.
With a tight budget, the way Costa built the team was commendable. He groomed Indian players like Raynier Fernandes and made them contenders for a spot in the National Team. His superb vision and coaching credentials were known by the whole country after his team had a nine-match unbeaten streak after getting demolished by FC Goa.
Although the team lost its way in the semi-final against FC Goa, Costa had left his mark in the league, establishing himself and the team as serious title-contenders.
#3 Double over Bengaluru FC in 2019-20
Perhaps one of the best moments for the team as well as the fans, Mumbai City FC defeated Bengaluru FC 2-0 at the Arena to complete a double win over BFC in the 2019-20 season.
The two teams first locked horns on 15th December, 2019 at the Kanteerva Stadium, BFC's so called 'Fortress'. BFC were unbeaten at home for two years, but Costa's Blue Army had different plans. Even as the rough tackles from the opponents and sneers from the home fans came pouring in, Mumbai were determined and disciplined to keep the score 2-2 entering the injury time. A late goal from Rowllin Borges helped the team take home 3 points and beat Bengaluru in their backyard.
In the return leg as well Mumbai kept the BFC attack in check and defeated BFC 2-0, becoming the first ISL team to complete a league double over them. At this point, BFC were yet to beat Mumbai for the past 4 games, a big feat for Costa considering the history BFC had.
While Costa bids the City Of Dreams goodbye, the club is now up for new challenges. With the backing of the City Football Group, the team management would now look to rope in some high-profile coach to bring the team back on track for future silverware and glory.