Margao, May 4 (UNI) It will be challenging for Kolkata's Mohammedan Sporting to stop the title run of contenders Mahindra United when the two lock horns in the second leg of the ONGC Cup National Football league championship match at Nehru Stadium Fatorda here tomorrow.
The well-knit Mahindra United, who have put in a disciplined performance so far, are leading the table with 29 points from 13 matches that include nine wins, two draws and two defeats. They would certainly be going all out to maintain their top position since second-placed East Bengal, with 28 points from 15 outings, are only one point behind them.
The mood in the jeepmen's camp was quite upbeat, having beaten Mohammedan Sporting 2-0 at Mumbai in the first leg match. They had also won their last AFC Cup home tie against Lebanon's Al Ahed 2-1 here.
Mohammedan Sporting, who started as the favourites for the title in the first leg, look jaded going by their present performance. They are placed eighth in the league table with 14 points from an equal number of outings. They will have to tone up their game and play at least for a draw to increase their points tally and avoid relegation. They will be relying heavily on Onkonji Patrick, Bijen Sinha and Md. Mukhar.
Mahindra have conced eleven goals so far while they have scored 19 goals -- a fact which speaks of the jeepmen's strong defence and which should be worrying Mohammedan Sporting. Striker Yakubu Yusif has seven goals to his credit.
Meanwhile, Mahindra's Henry Manenzes said, ''Our ace striker Jose Rameraz Barreto, who is nursing an injury and defender Surkumar Singh, who was booked with two yellow cards, will have to sit out tomorrow. But we have quality players on the bench.'' The boys are a spirited lot and will go all out for full points, he said.
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