Kolkata, Nov 28 (UNI) Only a win can put Mohun Bagan just behind leaders Sporting Clube de Goa as the former champions take on local challenge United SC to complete Indian League's first leg engagement here tomorrow.
The Goa outfit have unassailable lead with 22 points from ten games followed by Bagan with eighteen and seventeen each for Churchill Brothers and defending champions Dempo in the 12-team competition. CB have better goal difference over their arch rivals.
After two back to back defeats by debutant Mumbai FC and Sporting Clube in the opening games, Bagan rallied clearly scripting three draws and five wins consecutively to challenge the leaders in second the leg beginning next month. Since Marcos Pereira's donning green and maroon colours, Bagan have not conceded any defeat in the IL.
United, coached by Subrata Bhattacharjee, now fighting relegation and placed on 9th with 12 points, have the reputation to inflict trouble on the opponents as they did in IL and in the domestic championship. United drew with Bagan in first leg and defeated them in return match, that witnessed trouble and Bhattacharjee, who had served Bagan as player and coach, was manhandled by football fans.
Coach Karim Bencherifa will have to very cautious as he will miss goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee and mercurial defender Dipak Mondol as they have automatic suspenion for a match. Shilton Paul and Mohonraj might find place in first lineup as United's frontliners including Muritala Alia are capable to crack any defence.
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