Mumbai City FC will square up against Al-Shabab FC for a second time on Friday (April 22) in their debut AFC Champions League campaign.
The Islanders were on the receiving end of a 3-0 thrashing in their last meeting with the Saudi Arabian outfit on April 8. But since then, Des Buckingham's side have picked up the pieces and put on a show against the two other sides in their group. As a result, they now have four points and are third in the group.
Head coach Des Buckingham and goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa were at the press conference addressing the media ahead of their return leg fixture against Al-Shabab FC. Des stated that the side are eagerly waiting for this encounter after having faced defeat against the Saudi Arabian outfit in their campaign opener.
"Its a game that we are looking forward to. Al-Shabab are a wonderful team. They are at the top of the table and have played some really good football. We played them in the first game and they beat us 3-0. We have taken some lessons from that defeat. But its one game we are looking forward to."
Speaking on the lessons learned from their previous encounter against Al-Shabab FC, Des Buckingham said:
"I won't give too much away. If we close off one area, they have strengths in the other. So first, we'll try and keep ourselves in the game and second, we will give ourselves the opportunity to start showcasing our brand of football."
"We can play some very good football" - Mumbai City FC goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa while sharing his opinion on Al-Shabab FC
The Islanders custodian shared his opinion of his side's opposition in their upcoming encounter and said:
"Al-Shabab is one of the best teams in the competition. But as far as we are concerned, we have shown in the 4 games that we can play some very good football. On a given day, if we stick together for 90 minutes, we can upset any team in this tournament."
The Mumbai City FC goalkeeper added that the AFC Champions League has been a huge learning experience for the entire team. He added that they will be looking to implement their learnings in their domestic campaign.