Mohun Bagan face Shillong Lajong tomorrow in I-league
Mohun Bagan end their Airtel I-League campaign with a home match against Shillong Lajong here at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan tomorrow.
There is a huge contrast in the respective seasons of the two clubs as Mohun Bagan are in danger of having their worst-ever finish in the I-League while Shillong Lajong have already surpassed their previous best by some distance.
The Kolkata club endured their fourth straight trophyless season and are currently third-from-bottom with one round of matches remaining. They have consistently been in the bottom half of the table throughout the campaign and managed only five wins.
Mohun Bagan also have the worst offensive record in the league with only 21 goals and failed to score in their last two games. They also haven't beaten Lajong in the last three I-League encounters with the teams playing out a 1-1 stalemate earlier this season.
"We must remain focused until the last minute of the season and maintain a professional attitude," Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa was quoted as saying.
In their previous three I-League campaigns, Lajong have always been fighting to avoid relegation but this time the north-east club has consistently been in the top half of the table and is currently fifth.
The points tally of 33 is already their best-ever in the I-League and a win in this game could even see them finish in the top four if Sporting Clube fail to beat newly-crowned champions Bengaluru FC.
Coach Thangboi Singto has done a remarkable job with a young group of players but Trinidad and Tobago international Cornell Glen has been their talisman with 14 goals. That tally makes Glen the joint top scorer of the league along with Bengaluru FC and India captain Sunil Chhetri.
Singto feels his side still have room for improvement and is looking to end the campaign on a high.
"To be a top team, we have to maintain consistency. We win one game, then we draw and that's not the merit of a good team. I think, we have the players and the team to do much better. Now we will try to finish the season with a good result in Kolkata," Singto stated.
Shillong Lajong will also take heart from the fact that they are unbeaten in away matches against Kolkata opposition this season with one win and two draws.
(Posted on 27-04-2014)