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Mumbai Metropolis vs Nassaji Mazandaran: Preview, Live Stream

Mumbai Metropolis FC will begin their second consecutive campaign in the prestigious AFC Champions League on Monday which begins against Iranian FC Nassaji Mazandaran at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Advanced in Balewadi, Pune.

Set to embark on another historic AFC Champions League campaign, Mumbai Metropolis FC head coach Des Buckingham and goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa attended a pre-match press conference ahead their first Group D match against the Iranian Hazfi Cup champions.

Head coach Des Buckingham spoke about the Islanders’ previous AFC Champions League campaign, highlighting the club’s feeling about it. He said: “We were slightly unhappy about not qualifying for the next round last season and maybe even knowing what the ACL idea was last time. So changing that narrative afterwards was very constructive and I think it really showed what Indian football can do at this stage.

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Buckingham then explained how this season’s AFC Champions League will be a unique experience. He said: “This year’s tournament will be very different, with a very different set of circumstances. We were obviously based in Riyadh due to COVID-19 last season. This year we are returning to the standard home and away format. It comes with those challenges and those differences, but the one thing I’m looking forward to is just trying to replicate the performances we had in the Champions League last year, which put us in a strong position to obtain these results. We have experience from last year’s Champions League as well as the football we played in the league last year as well. So I think if we can mix them and if we come together properly we will put ourselves in the strongest position possible, but this is the highest level of the Asian club competition so we have to be at the top of our game to check. we get everything back from every game.

Islanders number one Phurba Lachenpa happily expressed his thoughts on the sport. Phurba said: “We are very excited as a unit and as a player you always want to play against the best and participate in one of the best tournaments in Asia. So it’s an exciting and interesting opportunity for us to show what we will do as a team.

Lachenpa then spoke about the importance of gaining the experience of playing in the AFC Champions League highlighting the challenges the team might face this time around. He said: “It’s always difficult for us to do it as a team. because we have a large number of members and we represent not only Mumbai city, we represent India as a whole. There is always pressure to do well, but it always depends on us, our mentality, how we deal with it and how we prepare for the best teams in this competition, so yes, it depends of our mentality, how we take it and how we face all these challenges and competitors.

Buckingham concluded the press conference by speaking about the importance of Mumbai Metropolis FC’s presence in the AFC Champions League for Indian football. He said: “I think it’s a beautiful thing. We are not only representing our club, we are representing our region, but we are also going to represent India and Indian football at the highest possible level of club football. You see the enthusiasm across the community, you see the enthusiasm across the country because it’s a brand new technology and it’s something they’ve never had before. The truth is that this will be the first time that we will be able to take Champions League football to the fans in India. So, for the first time, people will come and see this level of competition and the quality of players in the three teams we will face.

Match timing and LIVE streaming: Mumbai Metropolis FC vs FC Nassaji Mazandaran will be played at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Advanced in Balewadi, Pune and the match will begin at 7:30 PM IST. The match will be broadcast live on Sports 18 TV channel in India, while LIVE streaming will be available on FanCode.

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