Mohun Bagan Super Giant defeated Mumbai City FC by 3-1 to enter the semi-finals of the Durand Cup 2023 after 2019. Jason Cummings put them ahead in the 9th minute from the penalty spot. Then, Mumbai City FC made a comeback via a Greg Stewart goal in the 28th minute but, Mohun Bagan again gained the lead via a Manvir Singh goal. Anwar Ali then scored a header in the second half to take Mohun Bagan in the semi-finals. They will face FC Goa in the semi-final on Thursday in Kolkata. "We'll look at what we did, what we didn't do…:" Mumbai City FC Head Coach Des Buckingham explained where they lacked against Mohun Bagan in the Quarter-Final match.
"We didn't play for what we wanted. This is what we need to do if we're gonna compete for things. So it's a, it's a learning for us but we'll be humble when we win games and when we win things and we'll be humble when we lose. We'll make sure that when we come back to play against them, the players will be ready," Mumbai City FC Head Coach Des Buckingham explained.
"I mean, you, yeah, this is my first season. It's the fifth, maybe sixth time that we played. I think when you, you know, they, they fresh off without an AFC campaign after 11 days break between games, they had that break. So, yeah, it's, I don't think there's too much in it. I don't want to read too much, into the result.
I think what it does is it shows what's to come this season, which is two very good teams and we do very well to try and compete, not only with each other but for the further season."
"We've got no problem scoring goals. We scored 54 goals, more goals than anyone in the Indian Super League last year. We got five in three games in the group stages. So, we don't have an issue scoring goals. As you said, the issue for us tonight was we need to do better individually to start with and then we need to make sure from set pieces, we're a lot better to two corners in particular, two corners, in particular, have cost us two goals at all times, you know, one just before half time and the and then obviously one, a 21 which gives them a bit of an easier lead as supposed to sit back."
Refereeing decisions weren't the reason behind Mumbai City FC's loss in the Durand Cup 2023 Quarter-Final, Head Coach Des Buckingham doesn't want to complain about that.
"I think there were a few decisions we may have been unlucky to get tonight. But when you get, I don't know how many people in the crowd, 25- 30,000 fans may be behind you. Maybe sometimes that actually influences some of the decisions that I want to make or not. But it's not something I'm going to sit here and complain about. We know that some decisions will go away and I haven't watched them back, but certainly, from the sideline, there were some decisions that to me look different from what I see. But then again, that's not the reason we didn't get a result to see them. We'll we'll look at what we did, what we didn't do and we'll make sure that we're ready to go."
Mumbai City FC will face Al Hilal in the group-stage games of the AFC Champions League. Head Coach, Des Buckingham shared his thoughts on the game.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity, for people in India and our club and people around the country to not just Neymar and other players obviously around that, that team to bring not just those who's best players, but some of the world's best players to India. That's exciting itself and it allows people to come and see them and I know how, how many fans he certainly has in this country. So I think it'll be a, it'll be a good shot, but we started to, to prepare as well as we can for that from the start of the preseason," Des Buckingham shared his thoughts.
"We want to use this tournament to have them prepare us for the competing games and we were hoping for two more after tonight, but of course, that's probably the case and we have to do some work to make sure you get those games," he concluded.