Sporting Clube de Goa and East Bengal coaches give squad updates
Sporting Clube de Goa will lock horns with East Bengal Club in a Round 1 encounter of the I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Sunday. The kick off time is 7pm. Sporting Goa came back from 1-3 down recently to eventually overcome East Bengal 4-3 in a Federation Cup group stage match, which many believed was the game of the tournament with Sporting Goa striker Victorino Fernandes netted a breathtaking hat-trick.
East Bengal Coach Armando Colaco defended his team's performance in the recent Federation Cup as most of the players were away on duty with the ISL franchises.
"Many players were away playing under different coaches and different styles in the ISL with not much rest and rehabilitation," reasoned Armando in the pre-match press conference.
Armando further stated that he would give a few youngsters a chance in the absence of some experienced players, "Dudu (Omambemi), Lalrindika (Ralte), (Harmonjot) Khabra and Gurwinder (Singh) are not fully fit and the likes of Abhishek (Das), Abinash (Ruidas) and Sukhwinder (Singh) may get a chance."
Sporting Goa Coach Mathew D'Costa expects this match to be just as exciting as the recent Federation Cup game. He had a few players who were doubtful with an injury. The biggest loss will be Boima Karpeh who has not fully recovered from a knee injury. "Ogba Kalu and Anthony Wolfe will be the only two foreigners available for the game," explained Mathew.
Incidentally, the two clubs met at the same venue on the opening day two seasons back, where Sporting Goa playing with absolutely no foreigners managed to punch above their weight to hold East Bengal to a goalless draw in what was another thrilling encounter between the two sides.