Md Sporting to face Bagan with two new defenders

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Kolkata, Oct 18 (UNI) Faced with criticism after two successive defeats, Mohammedan Sporting has hired two veterans to bolster its defence before facing Mohun Bagan in the fourth round of the ONGC I-League here tomorrow.

Md Sporting boss Sultan Ahmed signed on two Peerless SC defenders Anit Ghosh and Madhav Das yesterday after two disastrous away matches, that left them with only one point from three games.

The black and white outfit drew 1-1 in the opener against Air India at home and got thrashed by Sporting Clube de Goa 0-3 and 0-2 from JCT in the subsequent games.

Md Sporting, which had a memorable season in the domestic league, and came second to winners Mohun Bagan will have an opportunity to bounce back in the reckoning for the national league as its rivals are facing a difficult time with injury problems.

Coach Sabir Ali claimed that he was not bothered about what was happening in the rival camp.

''I am concerned only with my players and want to take full opportunity with the new look side tomorrow,'' he said.

Nigerian Mike Okoro and Liberian Theodore Sunday are the best stakes for Sabir Ali, whose main concern now is to get a win in the I-League and win over volatile club fans.

Karim Bencherifa, who also faces a tough time in selecting first line up against the opponents, knows that his side, which could not beat Md Sporting in domestic league this season, is desperate to have a first win in the league. Bencherifa's luck on his first season in Bagan tricked in the local league but he is yet to witness a win in the bigger championship.

Bagan began with a defeat at the hands of Mumbai FC 1-2, drew 1-1 against Air India and lost to Sporting Clube 0-2 and have just picked up one point so far.

Injury and sickness to Bhaichung Bhutia and PC Lalwmpuiya would definitely make a huge difference in the forward line and Karim knows that only a greater scoreline would ensure a victory.

Brazilian Jose Barreto in the striking line and stopper Peter Odafa are the main hope for Mohun Bagan to make or break.

UNI PC DPM AB KN1857

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