MUMBAI, March 1
Mumbai City, majority owned by the backers of English Premier League club Manchester City, booked a spot in next year’s AFC Champions League with a win in their final match of the Indian Super League’s regular season.
The City Football Group, which is majority owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, picked up a 65% stake in Mumbai City in 2019, expanding their global stable of clubs to 10 across the world.
Coached by Spaniard Sergio Lobera, the Mumbai side beat leaders ATK Mohun Bagan to climb above the Kolkata-based side by virtue of their superior head-to-head record. “I am very happy because the club and the City Football Group have made a big effort to give us all that we need to work (with),” Lobera said after picking up the League Winners Shield.
“It is a moment to enjoy but also to analyse the things that we have achieved this season. We have a big challenge. I know when I came here that it was a big and ambitious project. We have worked hard to achieve our target. It means a lot because playing in the AFC Champions League next season is amazing.”
Mumbai finished level on 40 points with ATK Mohun Bagan but topped the 11-team league having defeated their big rivals twice during the regular season.
They will next meet FC Goa in a two-legged semifinals, with ATK Mohun Bagan taking on NorthEast United FC in the other playoffs before the March 13 final of ISL. — Reuters
Man City coach Pep congratulates Mumbai
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola described Mumbai’s feat of topping the points table as “an incredible achievement”. “Congratulations to everyone. Incredible achievement. Big achievement for City Football Group. Congratulations to everyone, manager Lobera. Very happy,” tweeted Guardiola.