MANJERI: After helping his team qualify for the AFC Champions League 2023-24 group stage with a 3-1 win over Jamshedpur FC in the Club Playoffs, Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham said that he is very proud to be able to represent not just our club but also Indian football at the highest level in club football in Asia.
Goals from Ahmed Jahouh, Alberto Noguera and Vikram Partap Singh were enough for the Islanders on Tuesday night to secure their place in the Asian premier club competition for the second time in their history.
Buckingham, who guided Mumbai City FC to second place in their group the last time they were in the competition, felt grateful to have the chance to do it again.
“I feel very proud to be able to represent not just our club but also Indian football at the highest level in club football in Asia,” Buckingham said in the post-match press conference.
“The opportunity that lies in front of us now is exciting. The full cycle of the last 12 months has been a very good journey. From playing in the Champions League, winning two games, then reaching the Durand Cup final, winning the League Winners’ Shield to now qualifying for Asia again has been great,” he added.
Jamshedpur FC made it tough for the Islanders but their quality shone through eventually. Buckingham credited his team’s temperament for victory in this crucial fixture.
“We knew Jamshedpur FC’s threats. They have some good players and are very strong on set plays and that’s where they have scored from. Things can quickly unravel but there was no panic. The players that were on the pitch or the ones that came on were very clear about what they wanted to do, so that was very pleasing,” he said. IANS