But two months down the line as the two teams prepare to face off in the reverse tie on Thursday in a game that was earlier postponed because of Covid, the tables have turned.
The Red Miners are now placed fourth on the table while some poor showing midway through the season have left Mumbai City a rung below. But Mumbai, winning their last two matches, now have the same points – 25 – as their opponents with Jamshedpur having played a match less.
Although Mumbai have upped their performance in recent games, JFC will go into the match as favourites. Owen Coyle’s men have won four of their last five matches. Only against Bengaluru FC they went down 1-3 but came back stronger blanking Kerala Blasters 3-0 in their next game.
Greg Stewart found his form back and scored twice from the spot while Daniel Chima continued his goal-scoring spree. Moreover, it was their fifth clean sheet of the season and Coyle will be more than happy if his defenders can put up a similar show against Mumbai, who scored four goals in their last game against Odisha.
“It is going to be a tough game but one that we are looking forward to because we know that when we are at our very best, we can win games against tough and top teams which is what we will look to do when getting in the business end of the season,” said Coyle ahead of the game.
Meanwhile, the good news for JFC fans is that Jordan Murray is expected to make a comeback from injury and Coyle hopes to give him 10-15 minutes of gametime. “To have someone like him back in the squad will be very important. He is a wonderful player, great within the group and is a huge part of the spirit that we have,” said the English coach.
As for Mumbai coach Des Buckingham, he is hoping that his boys will continue their revival and is more than happy with the spirit of the players.
“The players have adapted really well to the challenging environment and have not for once used it as an excuse to not perform. Also, the reactions of the players regardless of the results and the consistency of their behaviours since their first match have been very pleasing,” said Buckingham during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
With both teams running high on momentum, it’s surely going to be a cracker of a game as the third spot is up for grab for the winners of the game.