Calcutta/Mapusa: James Moga, who has finally returned from his country, South Sudan, to join the East Bengal squad, will not be the trump card for the team when they face Salgaocar FC, in the Airtel I-League, in Mapusa, on Wednesday. It will be Armando Colaco who will hold the aces.
The Goan coach knows Salgaocar and their ways like the back of his hand and that will certainly be handy while strategising.
It’s not only the coach’s knowledge of the opponents which make Colaco’s boys the favourites for the match, the red-and-gold-brigade are also ahead in terms of talent and form.
While East Bengal are coming off an impressive 2-1 away victory over a reformed Rangdajied United FC, Salgaocar were stunned by Lajong FC in their last match.
Salgaocar had begun the league on a promising note and had even moved to the top for some time. But they have lost their way somewhat.
They haven’t managed a single win in their last five matches, with loses against Lajong, Bengaluru FC and Sporting Clube de Goa. They some how managed to play out draws against Rangdajied and Pune FC.
No wonder then that Salgaocar coach Derrick Pereira has asked his side to cut down on the mistakes at the back and start firing again.
East Bengal, on the other hand, look to be a rejuvenated side under new coach Colaco.
“I am not giving special attention to anyone… For me, there are no strong and weak teams in the I-League. Salgaocar will have the home advantage. Our team is doing well and I expect a close and thrilling contest,” coach Colaco said.
“We played well in our last match and it will be important for us maintain consistency… That is important in a marathon league,” Colaco added.
Though Moga is fit and available for selection, it is unlikely that he will start on Wednesday. Edeh Chidi and Ryuji Sueoka may feature in the starting XI. East Bengal’s other foreigner, Nigerian Uga Okpara, carries a niggle but sources indicated that he will play the match.