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Goans ready to spar

Calcutta/ Siliguri: The second semi-final of the Federation Cup is expected to offer a feast of creative football as the two most accomplished sides of the country — Salgaocar and Dempo SC — lock horns, in Siliguri, on Friday.

While the defending champions Salgaocar will like to have a step closer to the title, the five-time I-League champions Dempo will definitely want to win coveted trophy they haven’t won since 2004.

Dempo coach Armando Colaco promises an absorbing clash against a rival who have enough ammunition to destroy the reigning I-League champions.

Salgaocar enjoy a better record in the Fed Cup semi-finals having beaten Dempo in both their previous meetings — in 1994 (Margao) and in 1997 (Guwahati). “We are not rivals. The best thing about football in Goa is that we share mutual respect. Whether we win or lose we go home happy,” Colaco said dispelling the element of bitterness from the impending clash.

“My side is young and will try to play good football. There is no pressure as such,” Karim Bencherifa said.

When Karim was asked whether Dempo lack of foreign power will help his team, he said: “They (Dempo) do not need any foreigner as players like Climax and Sameer are as good as any foreign recruit.”