I-League: Mohun Bagan to take on Churchill Brother

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Football
Kolkata, Feb 25: Mohun Bagan face an uphill task as they take on Churchill Brothers of Goa in their 16th round match of the I-League at Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Saturday, Feb 26.

While Churchill Brothers are now placed third in the league table behind leaders Salgaocar and East Bengal - on 29 points from 15 matches, Mohun Bagan are in the sixth position with 21 points from 15 outings.

Six of Bagan regulars including Mohan Raj, Surkumar Singh, Anwar, Manish Mathani and star striker Jose Barreto are in the injury list and are not likely to play tomorrow. To add to their woes, their captain and striker Ishfaq Ahmed would not be able to take the field tomorrow due to double booking.

Veteran Bagan defender and international Dipak Mondal sounded a little desperate when he said, "There is no use thinking who would be able to play tomorrow. We have to make do with whatever strength we have."

Bagan coach Subhas Bhowmick also admitted that "Churchill are the best team in this year's I-league. They are a well balanced team with a blend of youth as well as experienced players. We have nothing to lose. We will play our game and would be happy with whatever point we get from this match."

In their first leg match, Bagan had lost to Churchill 0-2.

Churchill coach Vincent Subramanium, however, rated Mohun Bagan as a very good side in the I-League.

Commenting on their opponents, Subramanium said, "Mohun Bagan may not get have six have their regulars, but they are always a strong contender specially with the home advantage.

Besides they have very good striker in Chidi who can change the complexion of the match any time."

Chidi would be kept under tight leash tomorrow, the Churchill coach hinted.

Churchill also have some injury problems and their regular custodian Arindam Bhattacharjee will not play tomorrow because of injury. Their main striker Odafa Okolie is also a doubtful starter. Though he underwent practice session today, neither Odafa nor his coach could confirm whether he (Odafa) would play tomorrow.

Odafa said, "I have injury. I can't say right now whether I would be able to play tomorrow."

Even if Odafa does not play tomorrow, the visitors will have an edge as their other striker from New Zealand Kayne Vincent is in a very good form and has scored regularly in their last few matches.

PTI

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