ISL 2023-24: Des Buckingham proud of Mumbai City's comeback win against Punjab FC; WATCH highlights
Mumbai City FC came from behind to score two goals late in the second half as Greg Stewart and Jorge Pereyra Diaz netted one each to hand the Islanders a 2-1 victory against Punjab FC in their home ground in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Thursday.
Mumbai City FC's head coach, Des Buckingham, expressed pride in his team's resilience and determination in the second half, leading to an exciting 2-1 comeback win against Punjab FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. The thrilling victory elevated Mumbai City FC to the second position in the points table, just behind Mohun Bagan Super Giant. Initially, Punjab FC appeared more organized, maintaining a one-goal lead for over 40 minutes before Mumbai City FC's remarkable second-half resurgence.
Punjab FC's captain, Luka Majcen, scored his second goal of the ISL 2023-24 season, granting his team the lead. However, a brilliant 60-second sequence in the latter stage of the second half shifted the game entirely. Greg Stewart's precise left-footed finish and Jorge Pereyra Diaz's stunning strike from Lallianzuala Chhangte's assist turned the tide in favor of Mumbai City FC.
Buckingham commended his team's response after the halftime break, citing their ability to reverse the game's dynamics. “I'm extremely proud of what I've just seen, that reaction, certainly, from halftime onwards; and to come back in the manner we did, that's a strong statement to make, and it shows that whether we go ahead or whether we go behind, we've got the ability to change the game if we need to,” Buckingham said in the post-match press conference.
“Full credit to the players for the way that they adapted to that at halftime, and that just shows the importance of making sure that we continue to evolve our game,” he added.
With Stewart's goal, Mumbai City FC reached the milestone of scoring 100 goals in 47 matches under Buckingham's coaching, joining FC Goa and Hyderabad FC as the only clubs to achieve this record under a single head coach. Regarding Stewart's performance, Buckingham praised the Scottish playmaker, noting his continuous improvement throughout the season.
"Greg's gotten better game by game so far this year for us; I think teams he's obviously been player of the season for two of the years he's been here," he said.
"Teams try to do different things, whether it's man-marking him or closing off spaces. And he's able to find ways. And I said this in the last press conference for our environment: he's excellent in terms of how he approaches and how professional he can be. He leads extremely well, but he's a player that can also change the game in a moment,” Buckingham added.