I-League: Dempo SC host Armando Colaco's East Bengal

Armando Colaco returns for an emotional clash against Dempo SC but knows there is no place for any sentiment as his new club, East Bengal Club, hunt for the three points that will keep their I-League title race alive.

East Bengal have blown hot and cold since Colaco took over, but the former Dempo coach believes it is the clash against his former team in Goa on Sunday that will show whether his team is among the title chasers.

“We have three matches in hand but this is the match that will define our title chase. If we do not get the three points, our chances will be as good as dead. It will be very very difficult,” said Colaco.

East Bengal only managed a goalless draw against Churchill Brothers SC in the previous game, and with archrivals Mohun Bagan AC waiting in the next clash on March 1, Colaco said this is a must-win game.

“We must boost our confidence by winning against Dempo. We are not exactly playing the best football we can, but we will get there,” said the former India coach.

East Bengal are without Nigerian defender Uga Okpara and Colaco is likely to start with Raju Gaikwad and Arnab Mondal in the centre of defence.

Dempo SC gave a good account of themselves, scoring a fairly comfortable victory over bottom-placed Rangdajied United FC, but coach Arthur Papas believes the team can do even better. “This is a culmination of all the good work that we have been doing since the Federation Cup. It is important to maintain the winning momentum.”

Dempo are expected to retain the same team that defeated Rangdajied United with Tolgay Ozbey and Alwyn George spearheading the attack. Brazilian Roberto Mendes da Silva is another attacking option and then there is Sanju Pradhan that one can always count upon.

Dempo SC are placed sixth with 19 points from 16 matches while East Bengal also have the same number of points, and are placed seventh.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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