I-League: Bagan eyes returning to winning ways

Mohun Bagan will look to shrug off the disappointment of its nightmarish campaign in the AFC Champions League qualifier when they take on Mumbai FC in a fifth round away game of the I-League football tournament.

Mohun Bagan's Sony Norde at a practice session at Cooperage football ground   -  Vivek Bendre

Mohun Bagan will look to shrug off the disappointment of its nightmarish campaign in the AFC Champions League qualifier when they take on Mumbai FC in a fifth round away game of the I-League football tournament, here tomorrow.

Defending champion Bagan, which is currently placed third in the league table with 10 points from four games, will be aiming to continue its unbeaten run in the tournament.

For Mohun Bagan, the return of Trinidad and Tobago World Cupper Cornel Glenn in the playing XI after missing out the match against Chinese side Shandong Luneng, which the green and maroon brigade lost 0-6, will be a big boost. Glenn did not play that game due to visa-related issues.

With four goals in as many matches, the striker would be itching to add more goals to his tally although he will not have Balwant Singh for company upfront. Balwant is still recovering from a shin bone injury.

However, with Sony Norde operating down wide left and in-form Jeje Lalpheklhua lurking in the 18-yard box, Mumbai FC will expect to have a tough time.

The advantage for both Bagan and Mumbai FC will be the AIFF rules that allow them to field a side without the mandatory U-22 players.

The U-22 players rule has been suspended for next two rounds due to the on-going South Asian Games. Bagan will miss their side back Pritam Kotal.

“Mumbai FC is a shade better team than previous editions. Also Cooperage ground is slightly smaller in size which makes it easier to defend,” Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen said ahead of the match.

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