CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC will face a stiff challenge when it takes on heavyweight and fellow Indian Super League club Mumbai City FC in the Durand Cup quarter-final at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday.
Mumbai City lost its final group match against East Bengal, but remains a force to reckon with. MCFC finished top of Group B despite the defeat while CFC, which is on a two-match winning streak, came second in Group C. The contest between the famed Mumbai City attack and Chennaiyin defence could decide the outcome of the match.
And, CFC’s German head coach Thomas Brdaric agreed to it. “We will try to defend well. We will try not to give our opponent many opportunities, space and gaps to operate. At the same time, we will try to exploit our own opportunities. We should be well prepared,” Brdaric said in a virtual interaction on the eve of the fixture.
“Football is a sport of mistakes. Whichever team capitalises on those errors can take advantage,” added Brdaric, who has taken skipper Anirudh Thapa’s game to another level. In four appearances this season, Thapa has two goals and three assists to his credit.
A key cog in the Chennaiyin wheel, Thapa said that playing in an advanced position has given him the freedom to make more inroads into the box. “Nothing much has changed. I have been working hard. I am trying to give my best to help the team score more goals,” added Thapa, whose partnership with Julius Duker will be crucial against Mumbai City.
“We are a new and young team. We needed game time to get used to the new system and see how each player plays. We have now got the competitive matches that we needed. Overall, we have been doing pretty well. The players are ready for the match. We are excited to play in the quarter-finals,” Thapa went on to add.