Mohun Bagan face Clube
3 November 2012
Kolkata, 3 Nov: Mohun Bagan will be up against a spirited Sporting Clube de Goa in a round four clash of the sixth I-League here tomorrow. After beating Air India in the previous round, Mohun Bagan have returned to winning ways after the exit of coach Santosh Kashyap and the team is looking to bond as a unit.
The green and maroon brigade thrashed Kalighat in a local league match on Thursday, but it remains to be seen whether they keep their winning run intact. Forward Tolgay Ozbey and goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya will sit out for tomorrow's game as Mohun Bagan will head in to the match with a 4-5-1 formation, the only forward being Odafa Okolie.
Shilton Paul will be under the bar in absence of Bhattacharya, while in the five-man midfield, Nigerian Stanley Okoroigwe will function as the defensive midfielder. Syed Rahim Nabi, and Snehashish Roy Chowdhury will look after both the flanks, while Manish Mathani and Jewel Raja will supply the ball for the Nigerian goal machine.
“It's a risk yes, but we think this will be the best strategy,” goalkeeping coach Hemanta Dora told reporters. “The bad phase is over after securing two back-to-back wins -- Air India and Kalighat. Now we have to hold the momentum. After all, winning is a habit. “Goan players are known for fast play. We have to try and stop the short passes,” he added. However, it remains to be seen how effective the much criticised Mohun Bagan defence will be up against Sporting, who have just one foreigner in Ogba Kalu Nnanna starting in the midfield. The Nigerian has made his presence felt in the previous round helping the Goans to their maiden win this season in Shillong. Boosted by the overwhelming result, Ekendra Singh's side would be raring to go, as even one point logged from the away match will be a welcome step for Sporting (4 points) placed eighth, two places above their hosts (3). “At the end of the day, it's a match versus our 11,” coach Ekendra said. He is expected to deploy the same line-up on Sunday with Victorino and Rowlinson leading the attack while promising youngster Adil Khan would be the one to watch out for.
ONGC v Air India
ONGC will miss the service of their new Liberian recruit Eric Brown as they prepare to host bottom-placed Air India in an I-League match here tomorrow. A late equaliser in the 88th minute by Prayag United's Ranti Martins and some crucial misses in front of the rival goal, including one which hit the bar in the last attack of the play, denied ONGC full points in their first home match on October 26. Nine days later, an injury and a red card to Brown stay a thorn in ONGC's flesh.
“An injury to our defender Bijoy Gurung enabled Prayag to crawl back into the match,” said ONGC Coach Subrata Bhattacharya.
“His substitution proved to be the turning point. I had no option as he was injured,” he added. Gurung hasn't yet recovered from his hamstring injury and will have to sit out against Air India.
Tomorrow’s fixtures: United Sikkim FC v Pailan Arrows, ONGC v Air India , Mohun Bagan v Sporting Clube de Goa, Pune FC v Churchill Brothers, Shillong Lajong FC v Prayag United SC. agencies