I-League: Indian Arrows aiming for league double over East Bengal

AIFF's developmental side Indian Arrows is eager to beat East Bengal for the second time this season after it beat the Red and Gold at Kalyani.

Indian Arrows will be full of confidence when it takes on East Bengal at the Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.   -  I-League

The Hero I-League returns to the Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai for the first time in three years on Monday when the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) developmental side Indian Arrows square off against Kolkata giant East Bengal.

The Arrows stunned the Red and Golds at the Kalyani stadium a couple of weeks ago, coming away with a 1-0 win. However, they lost 0-1 to defending champion Chennai City and played out a goalless draw against NEROCA.

Arrows' head coach Shanmugam Venkatesh asserted confidence ahead of the match.

“We are confident of a positive result against Quess East Bengal. Our last match against them was a good one for us and we will give our 100% once again.”

Venkatesh remains wary of the challenge despite beating the Kolkata side at home.

“As I said earlier too, they are a very good team with a lot of talented players and we will have to be at our best to get the result we want.”

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East Bengal has had a plethora of problems to deal with over the season but can take note of a select few positives from its last outing against Punjab FC. It struck early in that game, courtesy of an Ansumana Kromah stunner but suffered because of lacklustre defending and conceded an equaliser, drawing 1-1.

Despite the tough times, East Bengal's supporters still remain firmly behind their team as the proverbial 12th man and forward Ansumana Kromah voiced his gratitude ahead of Monday's game.

“We are all grateful for the passionate support we still have and I’ve felt that ever since I came back.”

Kromah had struggled to find a place in the starting XI this season, but Marcos Jimenez De La Espada’s dismissal in the reverse leg against the Arrows paved the way for him to make a point. Against Punjab, both Espada and Kromah were named to start upfront, with the latter delivering the goods and finding the net.

"We have to respect the Indian Arrows. They are a great team with some outstanding young talent. They like to run a lot and they stunned us at home. We need to be careful, especially their right-wing which can cause us some trouble," Kromah said.

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