Fed Cup: Shillong needs a miracle against upbeat Bagan

Shillong Lajong’s head coach Thangboi Singto has no choice but to forget the miserable performance in Kolkata and marshal his troops for an eventful outing at home.

The Mariners had trounced the Reds 5-0 in the first leg, leaving the hosts to try and pull off a miracle if they fancy making it to the final.

Mohun Bagan will start as clear favourite when it takes on Shillong Lajong FC in the second-leg semifinal of the Federation Cup, in Shillong on Saturday, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The Mariners had trounced the Reds 5-0 in the first leg, leaving the hosts to try and pull off a miracle if they fancy making it to the final. However, the elevated position does not make the experienced Mohun Bagan gaffer Sanjoy Sen one bit complacent. Rather, he wants his boys to treat this as a fresh game and go all out for a positive result.

“This is a new game. We are starting 0-0. Need to win this game and qualify for the final,” Sen said during the pre-match press conference.

Sen minced no words in stating that the Federation Cup meant a lot to the Mariners who “missed the I-League title by a whisker”.

“We need to win the Fed Cup for our supporters,” Sen quipped.

The Bagan coach was also all praise for rival Shillong Lajong which he claimed, “has a good young side and experienced foreigners and beat East Bengal thrice in 15 days.”

“It’s not going to be easy by any means. We have to be at our best,” he added.

Meanwhile Shillong Lajong’s head coach Thangboi Singto has no choice but to forget the miserable performance in Kolkata and marshal his troops for an eventful outing at home.

“For us it (tomorrow’s game) is one more chance for redemption. The players should take this game as a big challenge and aim to end the season on a high,” Singto opined.

“We were doing well till they scored the first goal. We always knew it was going to be a tough game but did not expect this kind of result. We should have done better as a team,” he said.

The usually cool and composed Singto agreed that motivating the players under such circumstances is never easy but backed his boys to give their 100 per cent on Saturday.

One person who seemed all charged up ahead of the encounter tomorrow was Lajong’s midfield mainstay Penn Orji.

“Bagan grabbed their advantage in Kolkata, now it’s our turn. Football is unpredictable, anything is possible,” said Orji, adding that the team was composed and ready for the do or die encounter.

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