I-League: Shillong Lajong braces for East Bengal challenge

Fresh from its win against current champion Aizawl FC, Shillong Lajong is looking forward to ending the season on a high note.

Shillong Lajong will be looking for the big win when it takes on Kingfisher East Bengal in its final I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday.   -  AIFF

Shillong Lajong will be looking for the big win when it takes on Kingfisher East Bengal in its final I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Monday.

Fresh from its win against current champion Aizawl FC, Shillong Lajong is looking forward to ending the season on a high note.

Meanwhile, East Bengal is showing no lack of confidence, the 7-1 drubbing of Chennai City FC in the previous game providing it renewed vigour and determination.

East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil said, “We will be playing freely in tomorrow’s match. We are under no pressure whatsoever.”

Asked about the game-plan for Monday's clash, Jamil said, “We are not thinking about the points or our position in the standings. We are only focusing on the game and we are going to go all out for the win.”

“Lajong is a very good team and they will be under less pressure tomorrow as they have nothing to lose since they are out of the league contention. They will also be playing on their home ground which is an advantage,” said Khalil.

“We will be playing with the same team but the starting XI will be finalised on Monday”, Jamil concluded.

'Happy but not satisfied'

On the other hand. Shillong assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew said, “We are not underestimating East Bengal. They are a very good side. This is our last game and we will try our best to be in the top five.”

“We have had a good break following our previous match and it has been good for the team. They are now fresh and renewed and ready for tomorrow’s game,” said Kharsyntiew.

Asked if he was happy with the team’s performance this season, Kharsyntiew replied, “I am happy with how the team has played but I’m not satisfied. The results could have been better.”

“Right now, the Super Cup is coming up but we are not thinking about that too much. We need to concentrate on what is in front of us. We need to concentrate on tomorrow’s game as it is a must-win game for us,” said Kharsyntiew.

“Though East Bengal is a good side, we are confident for tomorrow. We will go all out and play our best and see what happens,” chipped in Lajong defender Aibanbha Dohling.

With both teams showing great confidence for the match on Monday, it will be interesting to see which of the two teams come up on top.