Sporting Clube de Goa kick start their Federation Cup campaign on Sunday against their west cost rivals Mumbai FC at Cooperage Stadium, Mumbai. Sporting who secured the 4th place in the recently concluded I-League walks into this match with a better head to head record against the Mumbai side in the league. The previous meeting between the two at Cooperage saw a high intensity match in which both teams score twice finally settling for a point each.
SPORTING FACE MUMBAI FC IN THEIR FED CUP OPENER
The Sporting head coach Mateus Costa said “We all know Mumbai FC plays well at home, they are one of the few sides in Indian football who use the home advantage so well, but like we saw the previous time we were here some early goals can change complexion of the entire match. We couldn’t hold on to the early advantage which cost us the 2 points. We will be more cautious now.”
He added “We have to be positive and try to push on for some goals here, this will help us in the reverse fixture back in Goa. We would not want to keep too much for the second leg.” He went on “The mood with in the camp has been fantastic, specially after the performance the boys put out against Salgaocar FC its quite clear we are not here increase the numbers.”
When asked about the teams aspirations from this tournament “Unlike the league this is a much shorter journey, technically 3 good matches that’s all it will take for a team to win the Fed Cup, I shall leave it here.” said Costa with a bright smile.
When quizzed about the teams slow start in the I-league Costa replied “We are a better unit now than at that moment, we have got the combination going well for us. The youngsters have stepped in, taken responsibility and shown great character. We expect them to continue their momentum tomorrow.”
Sporting has strengthened their squad with the addition of their young Nigerian prospect Ndidi Chukwuma who played a pivotal role in winning the Goa Pro League. The Trinidad and Tobago midfield maestro Densill Theobald has also recovered and now fit to play. However Sporting would lack the services of their in-form Capitan Mahmoud Al Amnah due to an injury. On this Coach Mateus Costa said “Yes that is a major concern for us, he has been crucial in our midfield and lead the team from front.”