Dempo to clash with Al Ansar in Lebanon

Dempo Sports Club`s quest for AFC Cup glory continues in Lebanon as they set their eyes next on hosts Al Ansar in their second group A clash at the Sports City Stadium, Beriut, Lebanon, here on Tuesday.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2011, 08:52 AM IST

Panaji: Dempo Sports Club`s quest for AFC
Cup glory continues in Lebanon as they set their eyes next on
hosts Al Ansar in their second group A clash at the Sports
City Stadium, Beriut, Lebanon, here on Tuesday.

Dempo are upbeat as they gear up for the Lebanese
encounter after their 2-1 win against Al Tilal of Yemen at
home in Pune earlier this month. But considering the fact that
they are up against the home team, the advantage rests with Al
Ansar.

The cold climate will also be another factor, which will
work against Dempo who trained on Sunday evening and also on
the eve of the match to get acclimatised to the cold weather
in Beirut.

However, the hosts are still smarting from their 0-3
drubbing suffered at the hands of Uzbek outfit Nasaf, who
knocked the Lebanese side cold in sub-zero temperatures.

While the hosts are aware about Dempo being an
experienced side and potentially a "tough" opponent, Al Ansar
coach Jamal Taha conceded, "Tomorrow`s match will be critical,
especially because we need to make amends for the loss in
Uzbekistan."

Taha`s observations roll back to their opening AFC game
in Uzbekistan where they lost the opener.

"In Uzbekistan it was not a good start but since coming
back home, my team has won two games in the local league and
are banking on those results to counter Dempo`s challenge,"
Taha added.
Not much crowd is expected to fill in the stadium
tomorrow, owing to the "political situation" in Lebanon. This
situation could work in favour of Dempo as the partisan crowd
would not be able to actively root for their team inside the
stadium.

Lending his thoughts on tomorrow`s contest, Dempo coach
Armando Colaco said :"The team is fit and rearing to go. We
want to play good football and create our chances to score."

"The team has been playing in the AFC Cup and is in its
fifth season and there is no reason why we should not play
well this time. We are looking ahead and hope to qualify
beyond the group, so tomorrow`s match is also vital in that
context," the Dempo coach added.

PTI