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ISL VII: Tough test for Antonio Lopez Habas

ATK Mohun Bagan face Mumbai City FC in Fatorda
Antonio Lopez Habas

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 11.01.21, 03:06 AM

ATK Mohun Bagan coach Antonio Lopez Habas doesn’t think Monday’s ISL VII match against Mumbai City FC in Fatorda will be a battle between his team’s stingy defence and the prolific attack of the visitors.

Mumbai City, coached by Sergio Lobera, have scored the most goals so far in the league (16) while the Mariners have let in the least (three) among all teams this season. The two contrasting teams are also at the top of the table with Mumbai City in the first spot (22 points after nine matches), two points above ATK Mohun Bagan.

“I don’t think that Mumbai is a team that only attacks. They play on the break too. It’s very difficult to stop them because they always play forward. But I don’t think it’s a match between the best attacking team and a team, which defends very well. That’s because football is all about attacking and defending. And both the teams do that,” he said.

“The importance of a match depends on the moment. Now it’s a match between the first (Mumbai City) and second teams (on the table). Maybe two or three weeks later, the same match may not have the same importance, but the idea is to continue playing in the same way to get three points.”

Habas said the league table counts for nothing at this stage. “I remember my first season in the ISL. We (ATK) won the competition. Maybe we played better in the second season (more points in league stage — 23 as compared to 19 from the same number of games) but did not win the competition,” he said.

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