Calcutta: A team has every right to feel aggrieved on coming across an inter-school sports event at their practice venue. Deportivo Saprissa, though, were an exception.
Instead of complaining over what could have been a distraction, they were solely concerned about their preparations, at the Salt Lake Stadium, on the eve of their IFA Shield semi-final clash against Prayag United SC, in Kalyani.
Steadily, Saprissa have peaked in the competition. It augurs well for a team, more so, before a tie as important as the semi-final. The task, thus, is cut out for United SC.
However, they do have in their ranks Carlos Hernandez, who seems to be the most viable weapon against the Costa Rican unit. It’s common sense that United SC will bank on Carlos to get it right against his countrymates.
As far as the Costa Ricans are concerned, they don’t look to be putting in place any special plan to thwart Carlos. Rather, they sound quite cautious about Ranty Martins.
The game will also witness a contest between Carlos and his cousin Joel Montero. “If I have to vie for the ball against him, I’ll definitely go for a tackle,” the 17-year-old Montero said.
All said and done, it has been witnessed in the recent past that United SC haven’t found things to be, too, easy in the absence of Carlos or if he failed to fire. Besides, an aspect that Schattorie’s men have to deal with is Saprissa’s passing football, which can split open any defence with attacks one after another.
Goalkeepers Sangram Mukherjee and Ishan Debnath being busy with official duties leaves United SC with only Subrata Paul to field under the bar.
Their counterparts, however, are confident on the return of Douglas Espinoza, who has regained fitness after the injury sustained in the tie against Mohun Bagan earlier this week.