Both clubs, who are in dire situations, know that whilst a win will cure a majority of the malaise, a loss will pull the wheels off their hard work
Round eleven of the I-League, will see relegation contenders Mumbai FC and Rangdajied United FC go head-to-head in a dogfight in a bid to prove each other’s aptitude to stay in the top division. The equation is fairly simple - win at all costs. However, the solutions are anything but so.
For Mumbai FC, Khalid Jamil, the coach, will feel that their biggest anathema is their home form which is woeful for a team that finished eighth last term and was looking for a top four berth this time round. Drawing four and losing three at home is a sin. They’ve just won once - away against Churchill Brothers whilst losing to Mohammedan Sporting in Kolkata, just before the I-League break.
They just cannot get their defense in order as they continue to leak goals. The injury of Haroon Amiri, a versatile Afghan player and his subsequent loss in form, seems to have impacted the Mumbai side badly as Ritesh Perambra and Anwar Ali have found it difficult to block teams’ path to their goal.
Their attack haven’t completely covered themselves in glory either as they have found it difficult to penetrate the opposition’s goalmouth in recent matches. Sanjdar Ahmadi and Hashmatullah Barakzai haven’t clicked as much as the coach would have liked for them to, but given time they should come good and what better match to come to the fore than a relegation six-pointer. Dane Pereira and Climax Lawrence will look to infuse some life into an otherwise dull Mumbai midfield.
The addition of four players from IMG-Reliance, namely Mohamed Rafi, N.P.Pradeep, Peter Costa and Khelemba Meetei, will add more experience to their line-up.
On the other hand Rangdajied face Mumbai on the back of a few favourable results. They have now won a single game so far but a few gritty draws has the team’s hopes of a win up again.
A significant advantage for the Shillong based team has been the signing of Subrata Paul on loan from IMG-R, has added steely resolve to their leaky defense as demonstrated in the first ever Shillong derby.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s form was a worry but Santosh Kashyap, coach of Rangdajied will hope all tensions ease off. Manandeep Singh, Tomba Singh and Gouramangi Moirangthem have added a vital sense of depth to this team, which will be useful in the games to comes.
A win will drag Rangdajied right up to the threshold for relegation safety and this will be a big incentive for a tam many wrote off early in the season. The tie will be the first time these two survival fighters face off against each other, so they’ll be angling ti make their mark.
“Mumbai FC are always a tough team to play against. We know how they play and want to get a win under our belt," said Kashyap.A fireworks laden display is in the offing with this tie expected to spark itself into life from the get go. The biggest winners here will obviously be the fans.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.