I-League: Salgaocar aims to avoid relegation battle

Salgaocar has just nine points from 11 games, two points behind Shillong Lajong, which is placed sixth in the table.

Salgaocar coach Santosh Kashyap shakes hands with Lajong coach Thangboi Singto in a pre-match press conference.   -  I-League Media

In order to avoid relegation, Salgaocar FC will be keen to put its best foot forward and collect full points when it lock horns with Shillong Lajong in an important tie of the Hero I-League here tomorrow.

Salgaocar has just nine points from 11 games, two points behind Shillong Lajong, which is placed sixth in the table.

A win tomorrow will see it move above Shillong Lajong to sixth place and come out of the relegation zone.

Gilbert Oliveira, who missed the last match due to suspension, is back in the side to provide more solidity in the midfield. Cavin Mbarga, meanwhile, will have to take more responsibility upfront in the absence of the main scorer Darryl Duffy. Jackichand Singh, who has been the driving force on the flanks, will steer the attack along with Martin Scott and Oliveira.

Salgaocar coach Santosh Kashyap said that his team needs to win to keep itself above the relegation zone.

“It is nice to see that our boys are scoring but momentary lapse on the part of our defence saw us drop points in the last match which we have to stop now if we need to move up the ladder,” stated Kashyap.

Shillong Lajong is coming into this fixture after losing against Bengaluru FC 0-2. That was Lajong’s first loss at home in the current I-League season.

The youngsters have formed an integral part of the team this year and a few good performances have come from Vishal Kaith at the goal, Sana Singh and Pritam Kumar on the defence, and from Bipin Singh and Rupert Nongrum on the wings with Samuel Lalmuanpuia up front.

Its foreign recruit Penn Orji has started in every single I-League match and has played a crucial role at the centre of the park. Brazilian Striker Fabio Penna, who was signed by the Reds this season, has scored only one goal so far.

Lajong’s coach Thangboi Singto believes in Fabio’s capabilities and feels that the striker can prove to be dangerous once he is fully settled in the match.

Uilliams and Yusuke will not feature in tomorrow’s match due to injury.

“We are putting our best foot forward on our preparations for the match vs Salgaocar FC. We have beaten them at home but now they are well settled side and we need to play better than the last match at home as Salgoacar has strengthened with experienced players. We go to the game with a positive belief that we can win the match,” said Thangboi.

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