East Bengal eye win against Rovers in AFC Cup match

Singapore: Second-placed East Bengal would look to brighten its pre-quarterfinal hopes when they face Singapore League`s two-time defending champions Tampines Rovers in a AFC Cup group H match at the Jalan Besar stadium here on Wednesday.

East Bengal and Sai Gon Xuan Thanh of Vietnam have four points each but the former lie second on goal difference.

East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan would look to earn three points from tomorrow`s match which will propel his side to the top of the standings.

"We will aim to garner three points tomorrow to progress further. Although we played eight matches in last 24 days the boys aim to do well here as they have got sufficient rest," East Bengal coach Morgan said today.

Morgan would look to use his coaching experience in Singapore when his side takes on the Rovers on Wednesday.

"Our opponents are a good side and during my stint in Singapore as coach I found it difficult to play against them. In fact I was only able to get one point from nine meetings with them," he said.

East Bengal will miss the services of T Naoba Singh, who is injured while Isfaq Ahmed is suspended.

It will also be interesting to see how Abhijit Mondal does under the bar.

The team has axed their first choice goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu for his obscene gesture towards club supporters during their 2-2 draw in a I-League match in Kalyani in Kolkata recently.

Young Jayanta Paul was added to the side as second goalkeeper although the experienced Mondal is expected to start under the red-and-gold bar.

The Singapore outfit, who are the S-League leaders, are yet to win from the two matches they played and are presently lying third with a draw and a loss under its belt.

But come tomorrow, Tampines Rovers would look to exploit the home advantage against East Bengal.

"Altough we have only one point in the group we would try to take full advantage of home conditions," Rovers coach Nenad Bacina said.

"We are aware of the performances of our rivals and would try to set up a strategy against them. We had a tough match last Sunday against Home United in the S-League but now we are focused on the AFC Cup match," he said.