Mohun Bagan will have to pull up socks in Under-20 I-league
Jamshedpur: Stunned by Shillong Lajong FC in their last league engagement, Mohun Bagan will have to raise their game when they face strong contenders Salgaocar in the first match of the final round of the 6th Under-20 I-league tournament here tomorrow.
Mohun Bagan with two wins, one draw and one loss earned seven points to finish second behind dark horse Sesa Football Academy, which topped the points chart.
Sesa blanked Churchill Brothers 4-1 in the last league tie of Group C to earn eight points from two wins and two draws. Earlier, the team staged an upset defeating Mohun Bagan 3-0 in the last league tie on Thursday.
In the other matches to be played in the second session, defending champion Pune FC, which grabbed the second place with nine points (three wins and a loss) after Salgaocar (10 points) in Group A, would take on first-timers Sesa FA, Goa.
Group B topper TFA and second placed East Bengal (both ten points from three wins and a draw would lock horns to maintain supremacy in the tournament ending on March 24.
The teams would be seen in action for the next nine days with matches scheduled on alternate days. Three matches would be played on every alternative day between March 16 to 24.
Pune FC Head of Youth Development, Ranjan Chowdhury, said "We will play all out to defend the title and have started to build up pressure on the opponent from the beginning."
Claiming that his team was one of the strongest among the finalists, he said his boys were geared up for the challenge.
Tata Football Academy coach, Vijay Kumar said the focus against East Bengal would be on the finishing touches as well as defense.
"We had some good opportunities against the Kolkata outfit. But lacked striking," Kumar said.
Unlike the last goalless match against East Bengal, the TFA coach said "We will try to move from the wings rather than concentrating on the mid-field and sharpen our striking.
Asked about the team combination against East Bengal, Kumar said that one change was a possibility as defender Baidyanath Das was shown the yellow card twice in the last match.