Chennai City FC hosts Shillong Lajong in must-win clash

Chennai City FC will look to notch its first win at home when it hosts Shillong Lajong in the I-League on Sunday.

Chennai City FC boys sweat it out ahead of their clash against Shillong Lajong FC at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

Chennai City FC is now on the brink of relegation. And, the pressure to perform is beginning to show.

The team now wants to go out there and notch up its first win at home against Shillong Lajong FC, an equally good side, in its I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

Earlier last month, Shillong played well to secure a goalless draw. And Bobby Nongbet’s boys want to reverse the trend and travel that extra mile.

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The team has had its ups and downs. “We have not been consistent and playing away games is also becoming difficult. But we are prepared both mentally and physically for the challenge,” said the coach.

The home-side head coach V. Soundararajan said it’s a must-win situation. “We will have to win to avoid relegation fears. An early goal will give us the psychological edge to force a result and I believe my boys will do it as I have done enough talking to them.”

He said the strange refereeing decisions had cost the team dear. “We have submitted protest letters thrice, but nothing has come of it. It has added to the pressure. Our boys are not able to play in a relaxed manner.”

CCFC will also miss the services of custodian Uros Poljanec, who fell into the injury trap last match. But Soundararajan was confident of Kabir doing a good job. Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, CCFC’s midfield star, was also caught on the ‘wrong foot’ by the referee and, with it, was shown the red card. It has further jolted the team.

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“We have back-up players in Tarif Akhand, Sebastian and Pradeep and, that shouldn’t be a problem,” said Soundararajan, who wants to sign off on a winning note tomorrow.

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