KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club look to dent a blow in East Bengal’s ambitions to secure eighth consecutive Calcutta Football League title when they lock horns on Saturday.
It was like a replay of the CFL match last season when Mohammedan SC and East Bengal battled it out for top honors in Kolkata football. However, the only difference this time around is that Mohammedan SC have fallen far behind in the championship race and pride will be the only thing at stake in Kalyani Stadium.
Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya insists that his players will approach the match with the same intensity and hopes of resurrecting their campaign.
“We have to play with the same intensity. We are professionals. When we go on the pitch, we must respect the jersey, the fans and the honor of club. Our fate may have been sealed but we have to go out and do our best to win because that’s what we deserve,” Coach Bhattacharya said on the eve of the clash.
Currently on third position with 13 points from 7 matches, the Black Panthers coming into the tie with an emphatic 6-0 win over Railway FC in their last match and will be full of confidence at the prospect of upsetting East Bengal, who are on second with 18 points.
“It will be an enticing affair and the team which can handle the pressure better will be able to prevail. East Bengal are a very good side and they have shown how easily they can dominate teams. But we have shown that we are a team not to be taken lightly. We will go hard at them enforcing our own style of attacking flare,” the gaffer added.
The match pits the league’s best attack against it’s best defense. Mohammedan SC have scored 23 goals this campaign while East Bengal have allowed only three.
However, their leaky defense will continue to be the main cause for worry for Coach Bhattacharya, who knows they will need to defend better against East Bengal if they are to contain the threat of Mahmoud Al Amna and Willis Plaza.
On the team news front, Coach Bhattacharya will have a full squad at his disposal with skipper Rana Gharami returning from a one-match suspension that caused him to miss the clash against Railway FC.
For the record, Mohammedan SC last defeated East Bengal in CFL on 10 August, 2014, since then East Bengal haven’t lost a single match in CFL and unbeaten in 34 straight matches, a streak that the Black Panthers will be eager to end.
The match at Kalyani Stadium kicks-off at 2:45 PM on Saturday and will be televised on Kolkata TV.