I-League: Sporting Clube de Goa face Bengaluru FC test
Sporting Clube de Goa will take on current I-League champions Bengaluru FC in Round 8 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Saturday afternoon. The kick off time is 4.30pm.
Sporting Goa are still seeking their first win of the I-League season having collected just three points after six games with three draws and three losses, which has left them currently bottom of the standings. On the flipside, Bengaluru FC are currently riding high in fourth place with 10 points, after having won three, drawn one and lost three.
In Sporting Goa's last game, they were held to a 1-1 draw by Pune FC, despite dominating proceedings. "It has taken us time to find our form, but after the last performance I am sure my players will rise to the occasion against Bengaluru," stated Sporting Goa Coach Mathew Costa.
Bengaluru FC were defeated 1-4 by Mohun Bagan AC in their last league match which ended a three-game run of clean sheets. Bengaluru FC's defence will be boosted by the return of their tough tackling defender Curtis Osano who was suspended for that tie.
In midweek Bengaluru FC comfortably overcame Maziya S&RC of the Maldives 2-1 in the AFC Cup which did their confidence a world of good. Marquee midfielder Joshua Walker pulled up with a hamstring problem and is set to miss this game.
A whole host of players from the Indian national team will probably be on show, giving them an opportunity to make a final impression on India Coach Stephen Constantine before the squad is pruned down further.
Five Bengaluru FC stars, namely Keegan Pereira, Rino Anto, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Sunil Chettri and Robin Singh are on the India seniors list; while Shankar Sampingiraj, Siam Hanghal, Udanta Singh are for the Under-23 camp.
Sporting Goa defender Sandesh Jhingan has been shortlisted for the Indian senior team probables; while Ravi Kumar, Mauvin Borges, Sumeet Passi and Brandon Fernandes have been called-up for the Under-23 team camp. Although Brandon is still out injured and is set to miss this game.
The two sides have met four times in the past with Bengaluru FC winning three games while the other was a draw.