Green Defence Face Ruthless Bagan Attack

By I-League Media

GOA: Blockbuster Saturday in the Hero I-League features the iron test for Salgaocar FC as defending champions Mohun Bagan are poised to take on the Greens.

Having started off the season with four losses on a trot, the Vasco-based side was sidelined from the title race, and the rat race to avoid relegation began for them. The hierarchy has gone on to appoint former Mohun Bagan coach, Santosh Kashyap, who hasn’t disappointed so far as their boss with two draws, one win and one loss in his four games in charge.

Salgaocar FC marshals itself into the fixture on the back of a disappointing 1-2 loss to Kingfisher East Bengal at the Barasat Stadium. Mohammad Rafique opened the scoring in the 38th minute and for the Red & Golds, despite Darryl Duffy pulling one back for Salgaocar FC in the 65th minute, Bello Rasaq stole the game for the Kolkata outfit from his powerful header in the dying minutes. Kashyap’s side showed a lot of heart till the end but their journey to Kolkata proved futile.

Santosh Kashyap weighed up the all important game by stating that every game has had a must-win scenario ever since he took over the reins from Malky Thomson, “I prefer to play an attacking football and every match is a do or die for us until we get out from the relegation zone. We are confident that we are improving after every practice session as individuals and as a team. We hope to take full advantage of the home game.” He further added, “We have great respect for Mohun Bagan who are doing well in the AFC Cup and the Hero I-League. I think they are a well-settled team over last two seasons under the same coach and almost a same set of players.”

The big boys, Mohun Bagan, will parade into the Tilak Maidan with a 5-2 tonking of Maziya Sports & Recreation Club in their AFC Cup opener.

The most important aspect for Bagan, apart from the scoreline in all obviousness, was Cornell Glenn’s return to goal scoring form. The team passed the ball around well and took their chances and it will definitely give the Mariners the confidence to build on.

Mohun Bagan’s Assistant Coach, Shankar Lal Chakraborty spoke to the journalists and emphasized that the club values all the competitions they take part in. “A few months back we had a meeting in Mohun Bagan club and we asked the players where we should prioratise between AFC Cup and Hero I-League? They said both. It is really tough to play in such a rigorous schedule, but the players know to handle the pressure and they have shown tremendous character till now.”

A tale of contrasting targets is on cards as Mohun Bagan will look to change gears in their quest to defend the Hero I-League and Salgaocar FC will desperately look for some breathing space in the league. The Hero I-League steps into the second half for both sides this Saturday and they will look to begin in the best possible manner.

The Hero I-League match will kick-off at 4:30 PM at Tilak Maidan, Goa and it’ll be telecast live and exclusively on Ten Action.


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