I-League 2017/18: Yuta Kinowaki doubtful for Mohun Bagan's game against Gokulam FC
Mohun Bagan's Japanese recruit Yuta Kinowaki, who played a pivotal role in the Kolkata Derby at the beginning of the competition, is doubtful ahead of Monday’s tie against Gokulam Kerala, but a final word will be taken only on the eve of the match.
“He is injured. A final word on his availability for the Gokulam FC match will be taken in the evening today,” said Bagan coach Shankarlal Chakraborty during the pre-match conference.
Kinowaki has been out of action for the most part of the league after he suffered an injury during Mohun Bagan’s match against Churchill Brothers at the Barasaat Stadium. Since then, he was sidelined, until the Shillong Lajong FC match, but again got injured again in Coimbatore.
The foreigner is a player who can hold and distribute the ball in the midfield; he is exactly the player Mohun Bagan needs. Missing his services further will further reduce the chances of the Kolkata giants to clinch their second I-League title.
After a successful outing in the North-East, where they drew against defending champions Aizawl FC and defeated Shillong Lajong FC, they lost points in their tie against Chennai City FC which almost ended their title hopes.
With 21 points from 13 matches, Mohun Bagan are definitely contenders for the title apart from favourites Minerva Punjab FC, along with NEROCA FC and arch-rivals East Bengal FC. The Mariners still have five matches left, and securing full points will surely brighten their chances, considering others lose points. Most importantly, Mohun Bagan will play four of the five matches away from home.
“We still have an outside chance of winning the I-League but we are not looking into how others perform, our target is to win the match against Gokulam FC,” said the coach of Mohun Bagan. He also feels that the match between East Bengal and Minerva Punjab will be vital in the context of the I-League.