I-League: East Bengal to take on TRAU FC

The solitary I-League meeting between the two sides ended in heartbreak for TRAU, with Marti Crespi scoring a late winner to deny the visitor its first point.

East Bengal players in training ahead of their match against TRAU FC.   -  i-league.org

Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC will be playing host to struggling Kolkata giant East Bengal in the I-League here on Sunday, looking to avenge its defeat in the away leg.

The solitary I-League meeting between the two sides ended in heartbreak for TRAU in Kalyani, with Marti Crespi scoring a late winner to deny the visitor its first league point.

East Bengal was top of the table back then while the league debutant was rock bottom but the tables have turned since and drastically so.

I-League 2019-20: Points table, goals scored, goals difference

TRAU went on to forge a seven-game unbeaten run, which saw it rise to third in the table but has lost some steam following its capitulation at the hands of city rival Neroca, losing 0-5 in the return leg of the Imphal derby.

The host went on to lose 0-2 against Aizawl and played out a goalless draw against Chennai City.

However, the point it earned against the defending champion could be attributed to the sheer goalkeeping brilliance of Shayan Roy, who stepped in for Mithun Samanta and produced a few world-class saves in a game that could have otherwise seen at least three or four goals.

Speaking ahead of the game, Princewill Emeka, TRAU FC captain, said, “We need to get back to winning ways and we want to do that in front of our home crowd. Against East Bengal, it’s always going to be challenging no matter what position they are in on the table. We are wary of the challenge and we are ready.

“We did create a few chances against Chennai and they had chances of their own. It was an even game and we will be taking the positives forward and build on it in our next game,” he concluded.

East Bengal, on the other hand, went from being table topper to dropping to the relegation zone after losing five games since the turn of the year, but a win in its last match against Indian Arrows must have eased some pressure.

With a win over TRAU, the Red and Golds could rise to fourth in the table.

East Bengal gaffer Mario Rivera Campesino reflected on the three points his side earned against the Arrows.

“A win always serves as a boost in confidence and motivation, so the three points against the Indian Arrows were very important.”

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