I-L: Mumbai FC to face East Bengal
Mumbai FC will be keen to break their winless run when they face Kolkata giants East Bengal in a rescheduled I-League round 16 encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Going into the game after an extended break, due to no fixture scheduled in the previous round, Mumbai FC will be fresh and hope to make the extra days off count.
Currently sitting 11th in the table with 20 points, the match will be crucial for Mumbai FC as a win would not only steer them clear from the relegation zone, but will also help them in reaching closer to the top half of the table.
Coached by the experienced Armando Colaco, seventh placed East Bengal (27 points) come into the game after thrashing Rangdajied United 3-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium, and will be a tough nut to crack.
However, Mumbai FC can take motivation from the fact the last time both teams met, it was them who triumphed 3-2 in Pune in December.
Back then goals from striker Yusif Yakubu, medio Ahmad Hatifie and playmaker N.P. Pradeep handed Mumbai FC all three points.
The hosts will be banking heavily on the attacking duo of South Sudanese striker Jame Moga (7 goals) and Nigerian veteran Chidi Edeh (5 goals).
Amongst them, they have contributed twelve out of East Bengal's 24 goals this season and will prove a challenge to the backline led by Anwar Ali and Sandesh Jhingan.
Mumbai FC Coach Khalid Jamil believes his team was unlucky not to get all three points against Sporting Goa in the previous round.
But he was pleased by the team's character after they fought back to earn a draw against despite going a goal a down to the Goans in the first half.
However, Jamil now expects the team to build on that performance and finally get the elusive win.
Over the years, both sides have faced eleven times with Mumbai FC having the upper hand with five wins compared to East Bengal's four. Thus, a win on the morrow will also help Mumbai FC in building on their impressive record against the Kolkata giants.
The match kicks off at 3.00 PM on Wednesday.
(Posted on 25-03-2014)