Mumbai City coach praises City Football Group after finishing top of ISL

Mumbai beat ATK Mohun Bagan to climb above the Kolkata-based side by virtue of their superior head-to-head record and clinch place in AFC Champions League

Mumbai City FC booked a spot in next year's AFC Champions League with a win on Sunday in their final match of the Indian Super League's regular season. Courtesy of Mumbai City FC
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Mumbai City, majority owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed's City Football Group, clinched a place in the AFC Champions League after finishing top of the Indian Super League on Sunday.

The City Football Group acquired a 65 per cent 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 needed to beat leaders ATK Mohun Bagan to climb above the Kolkata-based side by virtue of their superior head-to-head record.

First-half goals from Senegalese defender Mourtada Fall and Nigerian forward Bartholomew Ogbeche sealed a 2-0 win and gave Mumbai a confirmed spot in the group stage of the AFC Champions League next season.

"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."

The win meant Mumbai finished level on 40 points with ATK Mohun Bagan but topped the 11-team league having defeated their rivals twice during the regular season.

They will next meet FC Goa in a two-legged semi-final with ATK Mohun Bagan taking on NorthEast United FC in the other playoffs before the March 13 final of ISL.