Margao, Apr 1: India Champion Dempo will cross swords with Bahrain outfit Al Muharraq tomorrow in the group 'A' third round AFC Cup football match to be played here at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda in South Goa.
Dempo, presently placed second with three points from two outings, are one point behind table topper Muharraq, with four points from a win and a draw. Dempo had defeated Al Ansar by 3-1 in the lung opener on home ground, but lost to Sur of Oman by 2-3. While Muharraq held AL Ansar goalless and defeated Sur by 3-2.
Dempo Coach Maurico Afonso said, ''It will be a crucial tie tomorrow and we need to win to brighten our chances of qualifying and victory. Muharraq seems to be one of most prominent clubs as they have defeated Sur, against whom Dempo lost by 2-3.'' A confident looking Afonso said Dempo are upbeat about their chances of snatching full points. ''We have a very good and mature side. There is lot of mobility upfront but the only department where we need to improve is finishing,'' he added.
If the Nigerian duo -- Renty Martin and Edeh Chidi -- and Brazilain playmaker Roberto Mednes de Silva combine well and bang on the target, it will not be a difficult task for us, the Coach added.
He said defender Mahesh Gawali is still nursing his injuries and defender Valerian Rebello is also not completely fit, making them doubtful starters for tomorrow. Anthony Pereira, who has recovered from his injuries, will play tomorrow strengthening the mid field.
Muharraq Coach Salman Ahmed Rashed Shareeda said, ''We are determined to bag three points against Dempo and will settle for nothing less. I know Dempo is a good team with two quality Nigerians and a Brazilian, but we have collected enough information about their squad and have done our home work well.
We are prepared for the challenge tomorrow.'' Satisfied with the weather condition, the Muharraq Coach said his team has no problems with the hot and humid Goan weather. ''We are used to such conditions,'' he said.
Shareeda said his team is shaping up well and has seven players representing their national team, which had beaten Japan recently, and also comprises two Brazilians and a Moroccan as their foreign recruits. Juliano De Paula and Rico are the Brazilian midfielder and forward respectively, while Jamal is the Moroccan defender, goalkeeper Ali Hasan will lead the side.