I-League: Sporting Clube have edge over Mumbai FC

Goa: Sporting Clube de Goa are staying grounded despite scoring a fascinating win over Mohun Bagan in their last clash at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda. The next opponents at home are Mumbai FC, in the 16th round I-League match on Monday, but technical director Alex Alvares has called for a cool headed approach.

“Our victory against Mohun Bagan was exceptional team work. Everyone contributed to the team’s cause but we have to look ahead now. The only thing we can take forward from the last victory is the confidence. There is plenty of work ahead,” said Alvares.

Sporting Clube are placed eighth on the table with 20 points but with little to choose between them and the rest battling to save the drop, Alvares knows that picking points, especially from teams who are fighting to save relegation, is absolutely crucial.

“We cannot allow Mumbai FC to return with even a point. We must grab all points on offer,” said the technical director.

Sporting have been erratic in the I-League, grabbing five wins, five losses and as many draws. While they have some fascinating victories against the likes of Salgaocar, Shillong Lajong and Mohun Bagan, losses against Air India and Mumbai FC have pegged them back.

“We need to bring consistency in our game. We have to keep on winning,” insisted Alvares, who is expected to field the same squad which means South Korean striker Jae Hyun Park will start alongside South Sudan’s James Moga.

Mumbai FC won the first phase clash against Sporting Clube by a solitary goal in Pune, but coach Khalid Jamil will be under no illusion of a similar result in Sporting’s backyard. The visitors will need to be at their best to take something out of the game.

Points will be crucial for Mumbai FC as they have only 14 points in their kitty and another slip-up at Fatorda would mean they would have been left to battle with Chirag United Kerala to avoid relegation.