Salgaocar aim for another upset
A stunning win over Churchill Brothers will give title aspirant Salgaocar the much needed boost and the side would be aiming to spring a surprise once again when they take on Dempo.
Margao: A stunning win over Churchill Brothers will give title aspirant Salgaocar the much needed boost and the side would be aiming to spring a surprise once again when they take on another Goan outfit -- the defending champions Dempo, on Saturday.
Salgaocar, received a rude shock to their dream run in the I-League when they lost to lowly Air-India but ensured their superiority over Churchill Brothers with a double win to open up three points gap against them at the top of the table and five points over defending champions Dempo and East Bengal, who have 41 points each from 20 matches.
Dempo and East Bengal are the other two teams vying for the title.
Salgaocar, who are at the top with 46 points from 20 matches, know that from here on they would need to win matches and tomorrow`s game is very crucial as it will decide which team is likely to win the title.
Bencherifa and his band of warriors had beaten Dempo in the first leg without their Indian players and now with their return it will further boost their chances.
The gangling striker Ryuji Sueoka, who has been their leading scorer with 15 goals, has played the stellar role along with Yusif Yakubu upfront.
The duo would be hoping to put up the same performance once again and play a dominant role in the attack if Salgaocar have to beat Dempo, who are at the best after the return of their Indian players in their sides.
"We have to keep fighting till the end. The win against Churchill Brothers has raised the confident of the team who have tough matches ahead to play against the Kolkata giants
Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. A win tomorrow will definitely enhance our chances of winning the title," stated Bencherifa.
Salgaocar midfield will be strengthened by the return of Rocus Lamare after serving one match suspension.
They have the full squad at their disposal and coach Karim Bencharifa will be hoping his team strike the right cord to collect full points.
Dempo hopes of advancing into the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup faded, and they are now concentrating on defending the I-League title.
But they would be without their defenders Domnic Noronha, who is recovering an injury and Rouholiah Sameina, who is out due to double booking.
Dempo hopes of a win tomorrow will largely depend how well their midfielders Clifford Miranda, Climax Lawerence, Ogba Kalu and Peter Carvalho perform. Ranty Martins, who is the second highest scorer with 17 goals, is in sublime form and have combined well along with Roberto Silva and the two can be expected to pose all sorts of trouble to the rival defence.
The game is very important and I am confident that the boys will rise to the occasion, said Dempo coach Armando Colaco.
"We have to strengthen our basics and try and get good results. The boys knows what is expected from them. We need to collect full points as we need to reduce the gap at the top if we are to defend the title. It is going to be a close match as both the team knows each others strength and weakness," he added.