Salgaocar and Dempo clash in I-League relegation battle
Salgaocar only need a draw while Dempo need a win
Vasco (Goa), May 29 Goan football will be on its toes for 90 minutes as Dempo and Salgaocar take on each other to escape relegation from the I-League. The concluding match between the two Goan giants will be played at Tilak Maidan here on Saturday.
On the face of it, Salgaocar are in a much better position, thanks to their win over Bharat FC in the last match. They have 21 points in their bag and will need only a draw to escape relegation. Dempo, on the other hand, need a win to be sure of staying in the top flight for another year.
"We will stick to our basics and play a normal game. We hope to implement our natural attacking game and seek to eliminate mistakes at the back. We saw Dempo put a lot of pressure on Bengaluru FC and I am sure they will be coming all-out against us. We will have to keep our composure and as I've said, play our natural game," said manager Derrick Pereira, whose side managed to demolish Bharat FC 5-1 and jump to seventh on the table.
Much of Salgaocar's problems have been in front of goal where they have struggled but in the last game Darryl Duffy and Douhou Pierre scored two goals each. Equally pleasing for Derrick should have been the performance of newcomer Umesh Harijan, who made his I-League debut.
Dempo, too, have struggled for goals, although their 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in the last game should have encouraged coach Trevor Morgan.
"Scoring has been our problem for the period that I've been here. I can't speak for when Arthur (Papas) was here but we're okay up to that final third, but it's about desire and wanting to get on the end of things when they come into the box. You've got to go for it and if the ball doesn't come in, it doesn't matter. You'll have to go in 10 times and on the 11th time you may score but, we don't do that," said Morgan.
Morgan started with an all Indian line-up against Bengaluru FC, leaving Morgan on the bench. He might be tempted to start with the same starting 11 against Salgaocar.