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AFC Cup: Salgaocar host Uzbek side FC Neftchi

I-League champions and Federation Cup winners Salgaocar SC will host their first-ever AFC Cup match later today against FC Neftchi from Uzbekistan. The Group D encounter will kick-off at 17.45 IST at the Nehru Stadium, Margao and it will be the first c...

I-League champions and Federation Cup winners Salgaocar SC will host their first-ever AFC Cup match later today against FC Neftchi from Uzbekistan. The Group D encounter will kick-off at 17.45 IST at the Nehru Stadium, Margao and it will be the first continental match at the Goan venue under lights in years.

The Uzbeks will be a tough opponent, who go into the tie as favourites but Karim Bencharifa and his men will surely try to upset the plans of FC Neftchi. Except new French signing Maxime Belouet everyone is fit and after their opening day loss at Al-Arouba in Muscat, Oman; Salgaocar’s will look to keep the three points in Goa as otherwise qualification from the group would become difficult.

Karim said, “We are well prepared and we are looking forward to a good game, especially because we are playing at home.”

“We are banking on good support from the home crowd and the fans will be coming here in big numbers. Ticket sales have picked up and we are expecting a big crowd, so we will use our home advantage to the fullest.”

“Neftchi are a good side. We have seen some videos and we are hoping to fight well against them and we are hopeful of a win,” Karim added.

Salgaocar are hoping for many fans to turn and support the team. There will be two categories for match tickets. The General category will cost Rs 30 and the VIP has been priced at Rs 100. From today onwards the ticket will be available at the GFA office in Panjim, the Nike showroom (Opp Big G in Margao), Tilak Maidan and Navjivan Medicals (both in Vasco).

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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