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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » I-League: Sporting desperate for their first win

I-League: Sporting desperate for their first win

October 27, 2012 20:23 IST

After a great start to their I-League campaign, Shillong Lajong will host Sporting Clube de Goa in a third round match at JN Sports Complex, in Shillong, on Sunday.

Lajong defeated Mohun Bagan 2-0 in their first match to give their campaign a dream start and then held Salgaocar SC 1-1 in the next match. On the other hand, it has not been easy for the Goa side, who were thrashed to a 0-5 defeat against Dempo in their round II match. In round I, they managed to hold East Bengal 0-0.

However, coach Soibam Ekendra feels that they were little unlucky to go down so badly in the last match.

But, he is in no mood to look back at their performance so far. They have defeated Churchill Brothers 2-0 in a Goa Professional League match last week and the coach is more interested in taking inspiration from that victory.

Lajong, on the other hand, is expected to attract capacity crowd on Sunday afternoon. They will look to attack from the first minute and will be desperate to pocket vital three points from this home match.

British coach Desmond Bulpin said all the players are available for Sunday's encounter.

The kick-off is at 2:30 pm.

Dempo relaxed before United Sikkim tie

Dempo coach Armando Colaco and his players look absolutely relaxed before they take on United Sikkim at Paljor Stadium, Gangtok.

The Dempo coach added that he would rather instruct his players to go out and enjoy their football than going for three points against United Sikkim.

He informed that there is no injury problem in his squad. All the players, including the foreigners -- Rohan Ricketts, Koko Sakibo and Ryuji Sueoka, are available for Sunday's match.

However, Colaco writes off any possibility of taking United Sikkim lightly.

Meanwhile, United Sikkim is also prepared for their 'toughest I-League test'.

United Sikkim had won their first match 3-2 against Salgaocar SC but lost against East Bengal in the second match by a solitary goal.

United Sikkim have also recently included DG Attivi from Togo in their squad which consists of foreigners like Costa Rican Michael Rodriquez, Nigerian Nurudeen Salau and South Korean goalkeeper Tae Woon.

The kick-off is at 2.30pm.

Time for Bagan and Air India to deliver the goods

It's probably going to be the most important match both Air India and Mohun Bagan have played so far this season.

Having lost both the matches, the teams will now hope to return to the winning ways when the two meet at the Balewadi Stadium, in Pune.

Both the teams know that if they have to stay in the fight for the title, this is the time deliver the goods.

Air India, who played their opening match without the newly-appointed coach Godfrey Pereira, want to keep their approach positive for the match against the Kolkata giants.

On the other hand, Bagan have also lost their first two matches. In their first match against Shillong Lajong, Bagan failed to score even a single goal before losing 0-2. In the second match, Prayag United beat Bagan 2-1.

Balewadi being Air India's second home ground, the airmen would like to make most of the home advantage.

Tolgay Ozbey, who had a much talked-about transfer from East Bengal to Mohan Bagan earlier this season, is yet to click, and his striker partner Odafa Okolie is almost on the same page.

If Bagan has to win on Sunday, the duo will have to rise up to the occasion.

The kick-off is at 2:30 pm.

Salgaocar take on in-form Arrows

Salgaocar Sports Club are confident that they can secure their first I-League victory when they face Pailan Arrows at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda.

Salgaocar have just one point from two matches and are desperate for their maiden victory. And, certainly it can't get better if they can start winning from their first home match of the season.

Interim coach Peter Valles has no doubt that the players will rise to the occasion. Valles is deputising for Karim Bencherifa, who is serving his one month notice period as he is taking charge of Mohun Bagan next month.

Valles said that although Bencherifa had stepped down, the mood in the team was upbeat. The players are quite charged up after Bencherifa had a word with the team on Saturday and asked the players to continue to give their best.

The Salgaocar coach was all praise for their young rivals, Pailan Arrows, and felt they had the abilities to spring a major surprise.

Salgaocar lost their opening clash against United Sikkim Football Club and then settled for an away draw against Shillong Lajong Football Club. Pailan Arrows have surprised many and they now have six points, maximum possible after the end of the second round.

The kick-off is at 5.30pm.