Calcutta: Shoddy finishing is one aspect that has been hurting East Bengal over the last few years. Precisely, it hurt their prospects in the I-League, which they came perilously close to winning in the last three seasons.
This time around as well, East Bengal could have been in a far better position had they not squandered sitters coming their way. They could easily have followed the hard-earned victory over arch-rivals Mohun Bagan with full points against United SC. But with the Edeh Chidis and Ryuji Sueokas failing to utilise easy opportunities, East Bengal find themselves at No. 9 in the league table with 11 points.
If East Bengal don’t repeat the same mistake on Monday, against Mumbai FC, at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, they shouldn’t have any problems in moving upwards in the standings. In terms of figures as well, Mumbai FC are just a spot above the drop zone, with just eight points from 10 appearances so far.
Importantly for East Bengal, they are playing with a renewed spirit since the arrival of Armando Colaco as coach. Colaco has been in charge only for two matches till now, but East Bengal looked a completely different unit than the one under Marcos Falopa.
“No one is indispensable in this team. If Mehtab is not there, we have people like Lobo and Khabra who can deliver. I’m quite confident,” Colaco said on Sunday.
Striker James Moga, who was out for national duty, is yet to join the squad. Colaco, however, said Moga will be joining shortly and will be part of the 18-man squad.