East Bengal pin hopes on last two matches in I-League
Kolkata: East Bengal`s hope of a repeat of last season`s runners-up finish in the I-League would depend on winning their last two matches, beginning with Sporting Clube de Goa on Monday.
With the title already won by Dempo, it`s a scramble among four teams for the runners-up position and Trevor Morgan`s boys would be keen to earn full points at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here, before concluding their campaign against Air India on May 5.
East Bengal have a full-strength squad to choose from, whereas the Goans would miss the services of forward James Moga due to suspension.
"We still need to win our remaining two matches to be sure of a 2nd place finish. It`s been a good season so far. Hopefully we may end up winning the Calcutta League. Not to forget we have already won the Super Cup and the IFA Shield," Morgan said.
"Last season, Mehtab Hossain played a vital role for the team. This year he stayed injured for a large part of the season so a lot of pressure fell on Uga Ukpara. The duo had played well and had complemented each other last season but this year our defence was tested more than often," the Englishman said.
Morgan further said they have created much more chances than Dempo SC this season but at the same time conceded too many goals.
"It has been a long season and endurance and fitness will be a problem but we will having a full strength side and are ready for the match against Sporting Clube," he said.
In the absence of Moga, Sporting Club de Goa will bank on Ogba Kalu Nnanna, and coach Ekendra Singh said they were equally keen on giving a tough fight.
"We had stuck to a specific plan against Mohun Bagan when we played in Kolkata and won. Similarly, we have specific plans for East Bengal. We look forward for a win," Singh said.
East Bengal have 45 points from 24 matches, eight ahead of Sporting Club de Goa.