Sanjoy Sen’s Mohun Bagan lock horns with V. Sundramoorthy’s Tampines Rovers in the Round of 16 of the 2016 AFC Cup at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. Mohun Bagan will look to build on their win over the Rovers, which they achieved earlier this season. Sundramoorthy still believes that his side can beat Mohun Bagan to qualify for the quarter-finals.
“Mohun Bagan are a very good team,” said the Tampines coach. “When we came here in January it was our first competitive game. We were in pre-season mood then and now it's different because it's midway through our season. We have many games under our belt and mentally and physically we are ready.”
Mohun Bagan had beaten Tampines Rovers by a score of 3-1 earlier in January this year. The Mariners had taken the lead in the 5th minute through a Jeje Lalpekhlua goal and Cornell Glenn then added to the tally. Rovers struck just before half-time through Hanapi but could not continue their comeback as Mohun Bagan struck once again through Yusa Katsumi late in the second half.
The Singapore-based club have added former Liverpool and Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant to their team, although Billy Mehmet will miss out on the game due to suspension.
Mohun Bagan will be without their Japanese midfielder Yusa Katsumi and Haitian midfielder Sony Norde due to suspension.
“Katsumi and Sony are two key players for Mohun Bagan,” said Sundramoorthy. “We do have the momentum but we too have our suspensions and injuries. So it's a level playing field. It balances it out.”
Although the Mohun Bagan Coach looked far more relaxed and said that he is not concerned over the suspensions of Norde and Katsumi, while the Indian side will also be without players Pritam Kotal and Pronay Halder.
“This is not the first time that we are missing some players,” he said. “So it will not be a problem for us, in fact, it will be a challenge for the players who replace them. The last time we played Tampines, it was different. There are a lot of changes so it will be a different ball game. They have strengthened the team so it will be tough for us.”
Mohun Bagan is coming off from an impressive 5-0 win over Aizawl in the Federation Cup final on Saturday and captain Jeje Lalpekhlua who scored in the final rout is ecstatic about taking his side to the quarter-finals of the competition.
“My target is to win,” he said. “We have one more step to go after winning the Fed Cup. One more step to go. Of course, if I get the opportunity I would like to score but it’s more important the team wins.”
The Tampines Rovers are coming off a draw against Warriors FC in the S. League at the Jalan Besar Stadium on when they played them on Tuesday. They are also going through a decent run of form having won four of their last six games.
Mohun Bagan vs Tampines Rovers, 2016 AFC Cup: Live Streaming Details
Television Channel: Star Sports 4 & Star Sports HD 4
Online Stream: LiveSport.TV
Date: 24th May 2016
Time: 7 PM (IST)
Venue: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati
Image Credits: I-LeaguePublished 24 May 2016, 12:57 IST