Mumbai City FC wins 4 matches, draw 2 in successful pre-season camp in Spain
Mumbai, November 9: Mumbai City FC returned from their highly successful pre-season camp in Spain, winning four matches, drawing two and losing just one against various club teams
Based inValencia during their 33-day sojourn, the entire squad under the watchful eyesof their Costa Rican head coach Alexandre Guimaraes, trained, bonded andassiduously prepared for the fourth edition of the Indian Super League,starting in Kochi on November 17.
Mumbai CityFC begin their campaign against Bengaluru FC two days later, on November19 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru.
“I am reallyhappy with the way the team has shaped up,” coach Alexandre Guimaraes said. “Weplayed well in all the games and worked on getting combinations right. We havegot the team in shape for the long season ahead and I feel we all set to takeit up a notch higher this time around,” he added.
Brazil’sThiago Santos, Spain’s Rafa Jorda and Indian International Balwant Singh werethe stars of the show, scoring two goals each.
Mumbai CityFC began with a comprehensive 3-0 win over UE Gandia on October 12. Leo Costafired in the first goal with a freekick in the 28th minute while Rafa Jordascored a brace, both goals coming in the first half itself.
In the nextgame on October 15, Mumbai City overcame CD Castellon 2-1 in a thrilling clash.Achile Emana’s 58th minute strike put them in the lead before Ruben Fonteequalized for Castellon four minutes later.
ThiagoSantos, however, rose to the occasion to score the winner in the closingmoments of the game for a satisfying victory over the Spanish third divisionside.
MumbaiCity’s victory run was halted by CD Alcoyano as they were held to a goallessdraw.
The Indianplayers came to the party in the next game, with Balwant Singh scoring a braceand Sanju Pradhan scoring one in their 3-1 win over UD Alzira.
The fifthgame against Levante UD ‘B’ also ended in a 2-2 draw but it was probably thetrip’s most significant match. The reserve team of the top flight SpanishLeague side began on a dominant note with Joel Rodriguez scoring in the firstminute itself.
That didn’tdaunt MCFC though, as they restored parity in the 28th minute through GersonViera. Levante jumped ahead just three minutes later. Thiago Santos, the22-year-old Brazilian, showed his class once again, scoring an impressive goalfor a well-deserved draw.
The onlyloss of the trip came in the game against Elche 'B', as the spirited MumbaiCity side went down 1-2.
The team,however, bounced right back to beat Torre Levante CF 1-0 to end their campaignon a positive note. An early strike by Brazilian forward Everton Santos wasenough to set up the victory.