AFC Champions League: Defending champions, Mumbai City FC find themselves in a very tough group in the AFC Champions League. The Islanders will be making their debut at the event after FC Goa became the first team from India to feature in the flagship tournament last season. Mumbai City FC have been drawn in Group B along with three time UAE Pro League champions Al Jazira, six time Saudi Premier League champions Al Shabab and Iraqi outfit, Air Force Club. Follow all the Indian football LIVE Updates only on InsideSport.IN
The 2022 AFC Champions League draw took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event was held virtually where 40 teams were drawn into 10 groups. Five of the groups, (A-E) were from the Western region while the other five groups (F-J) are in the Eastern Region.
✨#ACL2022 group stage draw results ✨
The toughest group is _______ pic.twitter.com/zZJ2M7ae47
— #ACL2022 (@TheAFCCL) January 17, 2022
After watching the draw from the ISL bio bubble Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham expressed his excitement to lead the team into the AFC Champions League. However, he wants the team to do well in the ISL and carry that form to the continental tournament.
“We are very excited. As a coach and as players, we always want to compete with the best and participating in the AFC Champions League allows us to do so,” Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham said after the draw.
Mumbai City FC won the ISL League Winner’s shield and the ISL trophy last season under the tutelage of their former coach Sergio Lobera. By the virtue of winning the ISL League winner’s Shield, Mumbai City FC became the entrants to the AFC Champions League. While Lobera left the club at the start of this season, English tactician Des Buckingham has joined the team and will look to take the Islanders forward to the Champions League.
The Islanders started their ISL campaign like defending champions as they defeated FC Goa 3-0. However, despite the loss against Hyderabad FC in their second game, they thumped last season’s finalists ATK Mohun Bagan 5-1. But their season got derailed ever since they lost 3-0 against Kerala Blasters. They are now currently going through a five-game winless streak.
Buckingham will hope that his team can turn their season around and put up a good showing in the ISL before heading to Asia’s flagship tournament. FC Goa were exceptional in their own standards as they finished third in the group that had teams like Persepolis, Al Wahda and Al Rayyan. The Islanders will look to take inspiration from their neighbours and deliver a performance to be proud of.