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I-League: Defending champs Dempo to take on Churchill

October 05, 2012 18:18 IST

Defending champions Dempo will be looking to garner full points when they take on Churchill Brothers in the opening match of the I-League at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Saturday.

Dempo, who had suffered a heart-breaking loss to East Bengal in the Federation Cup final last Sunday, are keen to go all the way in the I-League.

Dempo SCDempo's coach Armando Colaco said that he was a bit disappointed after losing the Federation Cup final, which they had won four years back.

"The boys played good football during the tournament under difficult conditions. However, the I-League will be a different ball game, which is stretched over six-month period where we have to remain focussed and there is no place for complacency. I have told the players to enjoy their game and not worry about the result," Colaco said.

Dempo will miss their top scorer for the past two seasons, Ranty Martins, who has moved to Prayag United. But his place will be filled by English striker Rohan Ricketts who will play along side Ryuji Sueoka in the upfront.

They will be backed by Climax Lawrence, Anthony Pereira, Clifford Miranda, while Mahesh Gawli, Cresent Antao, Sameer Naik and Valeriano Rebello will form the back four.

Churchill Brothers, who lost to East Bengal in the semi-finals, have done well in the Federation Cup and coach Mariano Dias said he would like his boys to put up a better performance against the arch-rivals.

"Yes, it is going to be a tough match and we are looking for a win tomorrow against a tough opposition and that will raise our confidence," said Dias.

Churchill Brothers team revolve around the foreigners -- Roberto Silva, Henri Antchouet and two Lebanese duo of Akram Moghrabi and Bilai Naijarn.

With both the teams aware of each other's strengths and weaknesses, league opener is expected to be a thriller.

In the other I-League encounters United Sikkim FC will take on Salgaocar in Gangtok, Pailan Arrows will lock horns with Mumbai FC in Kolkata and Shillong Lajong FC will play against Mohun Bagan in Shillong.

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