Al Jazira ready for 'dangerous' Mumbai City rematch in Asian Champions League

UAE Pro League side aim to boost knockout stage hopes when they face the Indian team again on Monday

Al Jazira manager Marcel Keizer is expecting another challenging match against Mumbai City FC when the two teams meet for a second time in the Asian Champions League. AFP
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Al Jazira manager Marcel Keizer has called on his players to repeat the victory over Mumbai City FC when the UAE Pro League side meet the Indian team again in the Asian Champions League group stage.

After claiming their first win at the third attempt in Group B by beating Mumbai City 1-0 on Thursday, Jazira face the same opponents at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Monday.

Another victory would go some way to boost Jazira's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage, with the Abu Dhabi club currently third in the group, one point behind second-placed Air Force Club and four behind leaders Al Shabab at the midway stage.

“We play Mumbai City again after getting some valuable rest,” Keizer said. “Our team is ready to do this again after winning our first match. The last game against Mumbai City was really close and we know how dangerous the Indian team can be.

“We are expecting an attacking Mumbai team and the same can be expected from our team. It’s going to be an exciting encounter with the two teams trying to win.

“The advantage is that we know how Mumbai City play but we lost a lot of energy trying to beat them the last time. Now we have to do it all over again.

“It is true we needed a penalty to beat Mumbai City. We usually score goals from open play in the domestic league but first we have to create chances and then focus on our finishing to defeat Mumbai City again.”

Mumbai City sit bottom of the group, level on points with Jazira, but have already created their own piece of history. Making their tournament debut, the win over Air Force Club was Mumbai City's first ever victory in Asia's premier club competition, and manager Des Buckingham is confident his team can register a second.

“We’ve had a good couple days of rest and recovery which was good for everybody but the players are raring to go, having tasted this level of competition on three separate occasions with three separate teams,” Buckingham said.

“We’re looking forward to facing Jazira again. We’re coming up against a fantastic team in Jazira. They are managed by an experienced coach and have been successful for many years. But we must give credit to our players, who are playing at this level of competition for the first time.

“I’m very pleased with how we played in all the three games but especially the second half on matchday three. It is very important that we continue playing like we did in the second half against Jazira. I’m confident we can win and we will go out and play the Mumbai City way to get the three points.”

Updated: April 18, 2022, 7:19 AM