Ikene return will boost Salgaocar`s attack

Margao: Ekene Ikenwa return from East Bengal will boost Salgaocar`s attack when they take on Chirag United tomorrow in the second round of the I-League to be played at Nehru Stadium here.

Salgaocar started their I-league campaign on an impressive note when they beat Viva Kerala 3-0.

They will be looking to repeat the same on Tuesday and this time they also have the home advantage.

The return of Ikenwa, who was responsible for pulling Salgaocar out from the relegation to finish sixth, will strengthen their attack.

He, along with Yusif Yakubu will form a formidable attack and Chirag United defence will have a tough time in countering them.

Salgaocar, who have strengthened their side by recruiting midfielder Ryuji Sueoka, has scored a brace against Viva Kerala. They have also strengthened their defence, which looked vulnerable last year, by recruiting Chinta Chandreshekar, Khelemba Singh Syed Faria and Jaspal Singh.

Salgaocar`s coach Karim Bencherifa is happy with the composition of his team.

"Our boys played well in the opening match, which we won 3-0 against Viva Kerala. Now they need to remain more consistent. Chirag also got good start as they beat AIFF XI and we have to remain more cautious against them as they are a good side with Durand Cup title under their belt," said Bencherifa.


Chirag United will be looking to their key player Josimar Martins to score goals and will be assisted by Nigerian Junior Elijah.

Talented Denson Devedas will stir the midfield.

Meanwhile, Chirag United coach Subrata Bhattacharya said that some of his players who were carrying injuries, have although recovered but are still not cent per cent fit.

"Salgaocar are a better side than last year with good foreigners. It`s going to be a close contest and we have to remain extra cautious as they have the home advantage," he added.