Dempo to clash Al Ansar (Lebanon) in AFC Cup at Goa tomorrow

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Margao, Mar 10 (UNI) A keen contest is expected when Champion of India Dempo sports club lock horns against Al Ansar of Lebanon in the lung opener tie of prestigious AFC Cup 2008 at Nehru stadium Fatardo in South Goa, tomorrow.

Lebanon's Al Ansar, an competitive outfit, arrived in Goa yesterday with full strength.

Lebanon coach Jamal Taha said, ''Dempo's clash will be maidan appearance in India and we do not know much of his India's opponents. I have to understand that Dempo are a good professional side with Nigerian striker Ranti Martin and other foreign player Brazilian Beto performed well in I-league.'' Jamal further said, ''We are positive about our football skills and hope to do well in our second AFC cup appearance this year, adding last year AL Ansar could not do well beyond the first round in AFC Cup but we are trying to get off to a good start this year and our aim will be to qualify for the second round.

The Coach also said the hot and humid climatic condition of Goa, will be a big concern for his players as the team plays most of its matches under floodlight. We have three foreign players in the team Defender Salih Sider (Iraq), Edilson D Silva (Brazil) and Abdul Kadar (Syria).

Dempo Coach Mauricio Afonso said, though his team's key players are nursing injuries, his team is geared up to face the tough challenge even though Dedender Mahesh Gawali, Valerian Rebello and medio Anthony Pereira will be out due to ankle and knee injuries but the have an equally strong bench strength. The team will play out to its full potential and give a befitting fight.

Expressing satisfaction with the balance side, Dempo Coach said, ''If we go with the right and positive attitude to do well then we will definitely make it, as there is lot of mobility upfront. The team is combing well while the mid-field is moving well, the Coach added.

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