I-League: Salgaocar FC look for all 3 points as they take on Mumbai FC
Salgaocar FC host Mumbai FC as they look to take home all 3 points from their I-League encounter.
Vasco: Salgaocar FC will look for maximum points when they take on Mumbai FC in a Round 10 clash of the Hero I-League at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda tomorrow. The Greens are currently placed 7th in the table with 11 points whilst their opponents are ranked a place higher at 6th having accumulated 12 points.
The Mumbai-based outfit got the better of the Greens in the first leg played at the refurbished Cooperage stadium and Salgaocar will be keen to ensure they reverse the outcome at home.
Injuries have been the Greens’ biggest enemy this season with as many as 5 key players missing the last encounter against Bengaluru FC, in which the youngsters who took on the mantle did admirably to ward off a full strength Bengaluru side until the final 10 minutes, a late Robin Singh goal sealing the game in favour of the Blues.
“We have been defending very well as we’ve shown in the last couple of games and playing good football all round. Unfortunately though, we haven’t found the back of the net as often as we’d like to and that has cost us dear”, remarked Derrick Pereira. “This is the best side Mumbai FC have had in a while, they are physically strong side. But we have prepared ourselves well and will look to stick to the basics”, he further added.
The gaffer, however, will be buoyed by the return of Indian International Augustin Fernandes and Zambian Francis Kasonde at the heart of defense, both having missed the last game through suspension and injury respectively. Striker Darryl Duffy has also resumed training earlier in the week and is likely to be included in the final 18.
Saran Singh who was introduced in the latter stages of the last game after a lengthy lay-off through injury is also fully fit and is likely to feature. Left-back Gurjinder Kumar, however, will miss the game through suspension.
Mumbai, on the other hand, have recovered well after a poor start to the campaign. Brazilian striker Josimar has been in fine form having found the back of the net 5 times this season in 8 games and returns for the clash tomorrow.
Mumbai FC will, however, miss the services of midfielder Sampath Kuttymani through suspension. “Salgaocar are a good side and we expect a tough game tomorrow. We will play positive football and hope for a good outcome”, remarked the Mumbai gaffer.
The Greens have 4 away games in the next 5 rounds as they take on Mohun Bagan, Pune FC, East Bengal and Shillong Lajong, 2 games on either side of a home game to Sporting Clube de Goa and will know the importance of 3 points tomorrow if they are to stand a realistic chance of a top 3 finish this season as the league reaches the half way stage.