Like he did a number of occasions through the course of his media convention on Friday, Antonio Habas raised each arms barely from the consolation of his chair. “I believe so,” the ATK Mohun Bagan head coach stated after a pause, responding to a query on whether or not he thought he faces unfair criticism on his workforce’s type of play regardless of being the joint-league toppers. “We had been first; 40 factors ATK Mohun Bagan and 40 factors Mumbai. Totally different type of play, however we additionally play good soccer. Soccer shouldn’t be solely about possession of the ball. You’ll be able to dominate the ball, however not dominate soccer,” he added.
The ultimate of the seventh version of the Indian Tremendous League (ISL) on Saturday might be a basic contest of contrasting types of play between Habas’s Bagan and Sergio Lobera’s Mumbai Metropolis FC. Each coaches come from Spain, however from two distinct faculties of soccer. Lobera’s new-look Mumbai Metropolis, mirroring different golf equipment of the Metropolis Soccer Group, has sworn by the theme of “stunning” soccer, a model that flaunts its attacking prowess by bossing ball possession and threading a mesmeric net of passes.
Bagan, beneath Habas, have sought to be simpler than charming, specializing in the consequence greater than the way it’s arrived at. It has labored: they completed the league stage on equal factors with Mumbai Metropolis who gained the Defend due to a greater head-to-head file. Each groups gained 12 occasions within the league stage and misplaced 4.
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Their totally different approaches are mirrored within the stats as nicely. Mumbai scored probably the most variety of objectives within the league stage (35); Bagan conceded the least (15). Mumbai have the very best variety of objectives this season within the first half (21 out of 37); Bagan have the very best variety of objectives within the second half (24 out of 31). Each groups have had an analogous quantity of pictures at purpose (90), however Mumbai outnumber Bagan within the complete passes (10,570 to 7,311), crosses (313 to 247) and corners (117 to 96).
However whereas Lobera’s debut with Mumbai Metropolis has largely been successful story already, he’s but to expertise what it takes to win an ISL last, dropping the 2018-19 title conflict with FC Goa. Habas, on the opposite aspect, is but to expertise what it feels prefer to lose an ISL last, marshalling ATK’s title win final season and Atletico de Kolkata’s triumph within the inaugural version in 2014.
“The intention is play to win, to play nicely and win. That’s our concept,” Habas stated on Friday.
Lobera was pressured to deviate considerably from his attacking soccer mantra within the his workforce’s semi-final in opposition to FC Goa, particularly within the second leg wherein Mumbai had zero pictures on purpose but scrambled to cross the road on penalties after a barren draw. However whereas the Spaniard acknowledged that it may not all the time be potential to name the pictures in opposition to high quality opponents, he promised to remain true to his type on Saturday.
“It’s a very powerful factor, since you’re sturdy this fashion,” Lobera stated on Friday. “When you’re enjoying in one other means, you are not at your strongest. Our type of play from the start has been the identical. We’re sturdy enjoying on this means, and we have to be loyal to our type of play.”
Whereas staying dedicated to their type, Mumbai have additionally managed 10 clear sheets this season, the joint-most with Bagan. The workforce’s defensive construction has held on to its personal amid the attacking mindset, courtesy gamers like Mourtada Fall, Amey Ranawade and, after all, goalkeeper and captain Amrinder Singh.
“When you see the coach’s type of enjoying much more attacking soccer, to maintain 10 clear sheets in it’s a massive deal,” Singh stated on Friday. “If we’ve one other clear sheet in tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) massive sport, we’d have achieved half the job.”
That may be fairly a activity in opposition to Bagan’s attacking trio of Roy Krishna, David Williams and Manvir Singh, though Mumbai have managed to maintain them beneath examine in each the league conferences that ended 1-0 and 2-0 in Mumbai’s favour. However Krishna has some further incentive to search out the online on Saturday—the Fijian is tied on 14 objectives with Goa’s Igor Angulo for the Golden Boot.
“If I win the Golden Boot, it will be a bonus. However for me it is nearly getting the consequence and successful the trophy. And I am going to do something to realize it,” Krishna stated on Friday.