Mumbai, Apr 22 (PTI) Mumbai FC plunge into tomorrow’s I-League face-off against Shillong Lajong FC here at the Cooperage stadium with the sole aim of saving some face by avoiding the wooden spoon after a pathetic display resulted in the side being relegated today with two games in hand.
The embattled home side, which has virtually forgotten how to win after a string of losses and draws, have 12 points after 16 matches while their nearest rivals in the battle to avoid relegation, Churchill Brothers, today put the issue beyond them by thrashing Chennai City FC 6-1 in a home game and have 20 points with a game yet to play.
Thus even victories in their last two games against Shillong and East Bengal will not save Mumbai from being confined to playing in the lower division next season.
Mumbai have not shown they could win a game even at home evidenced by four successive draws.
With their slim hopes dashed to the ground by Churchill, it remains to be seen how competitive Mumbai FC are against the north-easterners.
The Mumbai club has released two of its Brazilian attackers, Anderson Raimundo da Silva and Alex Silva, ahead of their league’s season-ending games.
This is the first time Mumbai have been relegated since their entry in the league. They had often ended the season at a mid-table position under Khalid Jamil’s reign as coach with their best record being a fifth spot finish in 2015-16.
This season has been nothing short of disastrous with original coach Santosh Kashyap sacked after a string of poor results and replaced by Spaniard Oscar Bruzon who could not salvage the situation in the limited time available at his disposal.
“We have nothing else except to focus on our final standing. We don’t want to finish last,” said Bruzon today.
Shillong, on the other hand, have 24 points in their kitty and booked their berth in the Federation Cup to follow.
They would be, however, eager to clinch victories in their remaining two games, especially against a demoralised outfit like Mumbai to improve their overall position on the league table.
Manager Singto said that they will go all-out for a win tomorrow.
“We have to win and will go all-out to achieve it. We have been trying various things in our training and hope to have a good game. Mumbai FC have been quite good but luck has not favoured them,” said Singto.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.