I-League: Bagan looks to consolidate position at top

Mhun Bagan, which secured a convincing 3-1 win over Salgaocar in its last match, continues to remain at the top of the table with 21 points from nine matches and a win tomorrow against Sporting will put the Kolkata-based team six points clear of nearest rival Bengaluru FC.

Mohun Bagan players during a practice session.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Defending champion Mohun Bagan will look to consolidate its position at the top when it takes on Sporting Clube de Goa in a 10th round match of the I-League here tomorrow.

Bagan, which secured a convincing 3-1 win over Salgaocar in its last match, continues to remain at the top of the table with 21 points from nine matches and a win tomorrow against Sporting will put the Kolkata-based team six points clear of nearest rival Bengaluru FC, which sits at second spot with 18 points from nine games.

Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen is aware that tomorrow’s match would be fought, closely just like the one in Kolkata, where the team managed a 1-0 win.

“It won’t be an easy match just like we did against Salgaocar FC. Sporting have made couple of new recruits and have strengthen their team in all departments and we need to play to our potential if we are to win tomorrow,” said Sen.

Lenny Rodrigues, who played his first match against Salgaocar, gave a good account of himself to steer the midfield along with Sony Norde, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Katsumi Yusa and Sen, and Sen might opt to start with him tomorrow in place of Pronoy Halder, who is back in the side along with Luciano Sobrosa, after serving a one match suspension.

“Our team is playing well as a unit and that has helped us to remain unbeaten and I have told the boys not to be complacent but to remain focussed and keep the winning momentum going,” stated Sen.

Sporting have come here after having drawn against Mumbai FC and it is placed fourth with 12 points from nine matches.

Coach Mateus Costa knows it’s going to be a tough match against the Kolkatan giants.

“Our team has been playing well on the whole and had we scored from the number of chances we have created we would have been on par with Bagan on points. We lost key players in important matches due to injury that has also effected our performance. Densil Theobald has recovered from injury and had practice today but we will take a call tomorrow if he is available,” said Costa.

Sporting’s success will largely depend on how well its midfield gels. Denzil Theobald will spearhead the attack along with Mahmood. Striker Odafe Okolie will also be eyeing to be a threat to the rival defence, which will be led by Luciano Sobrosa.

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