I-League: Salgaocar FC look to get back to winning ways as they take on Shillong Lajong
Vasco: Salgaocar FC will look to bounce back from 2 successive away defeats when they take on Shillong Lajong FC in a Round 8 encounter of the Hero I-League at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. Both teams have failed to get off the blocks and lie in the bottom half of the table with Salgaocar having managed 8 points, whilst Shillong have accumulated 6 from the 7 outings they have played.
Although Shillong did beat Dempo SC in Goa in a Round 6 clash, it was only their second win of the campaign. They followed that result with a 3-4 defeat to Mohun Bagan at home in their last outing in a keenly contested affair.
On the other hand, the Greens have been at the wrong end of the scoreline against Mumbai FC and Kalyani Bharat FC in their last 2 encounters after having managed impressive back-to-back victories against Sporting Clube de Goa and Kingfisher East Bengal at home.
Thangboi Singto, the Shillong Lajong coach confirmed at the pre-match conference that he does entire squad at his disposal and is looking forward to an intriguing contest against the Greens. “Salgaocar are a good side and have one of the most experienced coaches in the country”, he remarked.
“This has been a very competitive league and there is not much of a difference in terms of points. A couple of wins can see a team quickly climb the ladder”, he added. He however did express satisfaction over his foreigners Cornell (Glen) and Ulliams (Souza) finding the back of the net in recent outings.
On the other hand, coach Derrick Pereira continues to have key players unavailable or missing from the fold. Salgaocar’s marquee signing, defender Francis Kasonde picked up a knock in the last game and could be out over a prolonged period.
Darryl Duffy is yet to recover completely and a final call on his availability will be taken on the eve of the game. Left-back Gurjinder Kumar has had to return home on personal grounds and will not be available for the upcoming fixture, whilst Saran Singh continues to remain unavailable.
Even though, Salgaocar FC have recently strengthened their squad with the addition of their fourth foreigner, Yemeni International, Khaled Baleid, and former East Bengal skipper Sanju Pradhan, given that they have only trained with the team for a couple of days, coach Derrick Pereira is unlikely to hand either a start.
“We will look to overcome the disappointment of the last 2 outings and go out looking for all 3 points tomorrow. Unfortunately, injuries to key players since the start of the I-League have had an impact on our performance. The 2-week break post the gametomorrow has come at the right time for us”, concluded the Salgaocar gaffer.