Home » Frustrating, says Buckingham after Mumbai’s 0-1 loss

Frustrating, says Buckingham after Mumbai’s 0-1 loss

by thesquadron.in
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After scripting a memorable first in Indian football, Mumbai City FC went down fighting 0-1 to Al Jazira in their third AFC Champions League Group B encounter in Riyadh on Thursday night.

A 40th-minute penalty by Ali Mabkhout made the difference at the King Fahd International Stadium, with Mumbai City’s spirited showing in the second half not enough to bring home at least a point. The debutants have one win—a first by any Indian club at this level when they beat Air Force Club 2-1 in their previous match—and two defeats so far in the tournament with three matches remaining.

Al Jazira controlled the game more in the first half, registering 70 per cent ball possession but without any significant chances. Mumbai had an early setback as defender Amey Ranawade was stretched off with an injury and replaced by Mehtab Singh nine minutes into the contest. And it was Singh who conceded the penalty six minutes before the break as his raised arm blocked a shot from Abdoulaye Diaby. Despite Mumbai goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz, who replaced the suspended Phurba Lachenpa, getting his fingertips to the ball he couldn’t stop the Mabkhout strike from the spot.

Mumbai City bounced back strongly in the second half. Rahul Bheke, who scored the winner against Air Force Club, almost got them on the board again minutes before time but his 25-yard shot hit the crossbar. Mumbai ended the encounter with nine shots on goal, higher than in their previous two outings (five against Air Force Club and three against Al-Shabab FC) of the tournament.

“I thought in the second half, we were fantastic. We played very well in the last 20 minutes with nine Indian players and two foreigners,” said Mumbai City head coach Des Buckhingham. “We created several chances but were unfortunate not to take them. In the first half, we created several clear-cut chances and should have been back before the half-time whistle with a goal.

“It’s a bit frustrating not coming back with the result and because we settled down deep, we had little chances in front of goal,” he said.

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