I-League: Shivajians hosts Sporting Clube

Currently ninth in the league standings, DSK Shivajians (9 points) is level on points with Aizawl FC, and a win tomorrow will be crucial for DSK Shivajians survival attempts.

DSK Shivajians coach Derrick Pereira at a press conference.   -  I-League Media

DSK Shivajians Football Club would be aiming to carry its good form forward after its victory over East Bengal, when it welcomes Sporting Club de Goa in an I-League encounter tomorrow.

Currently ninth in the league standings, DSK Shivajians (9 points) is level on points with Aizawl FC, and a win tomorrow will be crucial for DSK Shivajians survival attempts.

Despite having a slow start to the season, DSK Shivajians will be confident going into this crucial clash having managed to do better in recent weeks by picking up five points in the past three games.

Back-to-back draws against Shillong Lajong and the massive win over East Bengal has helped DSK Shivajians gain momentum towards the end of the campaign, something the Pune-based side will be keen to extend.

Fourth-placed Sporting Clube de Goa, on the other hand, has amassed 14 points so far from 11 matches and will be a tricky opponent.

The Goan-side would look to continue its impressive form in the wake of recent draws with the likes of Bengaluru FC and defending champions Mohun Bagan.

The team has also managed to pick up two wins on the road this season and will pose a considerable threat.

When both sides faced off in the season opener, they ended up sharing spoils in a goalless draw, which was also DSK Shivajians’ first-ever game in the top-flight league.

Speaking ahead of the return-leg, DSK Shivajians’ head coach Derrick Pereira, said: “We have been in good spirits and we will hope to perform the way we performed in the previous match and try to get three points. We have a fit team and all the players are available for the match tomorrow.”

The home side will be banking on the strike force of skipper Perrick Dipanda, who leads the scoring charts with four goals, along with partner Douhou Pierre, who netted his second of the season in victory against East Bengal. Spanish medio Juan Queroto has been in fine form and Coach Derrick Periera will hope the trio fire again.

While DSK Shivajians will be boosted by the availability of its entire squad for the crucial game, opponent Sporting will be missing the services of Nigerian defender Loveday Okechukwu, who was sent off in its 2-2 draw against Bengaluru FC a week ago, along with striker Odafa Okolie who is out injured.