Margao, April 12 (PTI): Basking in the glory of notching up the biggest ever National Football League win against HAL in the last match, Vasco SC will be looking to put continuous pressure on leaders East Bengal when the Goan outfit takes on relegated ITI at the Nehru Stadium on Sunday.
Vasco’s aspiration for the title gained a new lifeline after they drubbed HAL 8-0 and East Bengal lost to Mahindra United on Wednesday.
Vasco, with 37 points, are six points behind East Bengal and now need to win all their three matches including the one against East Bengal in upset the applecart for the Calcutta team.
East Bengal, however, are in an advantageous position and need a win plus a draw from the final three rounds of matches to lift the crown for the second time.
“Tomorrow’s match is important for us as a comprehensive win will boost our morale as we play against East Bengal next at Calcutta, which will decide the team’s fate for the title,” Vasco coach Derrick Pereira said after his team’s practice session.
Striker Rui Wanderley Weis, who has been entrusted the new role in the midfield, has played well as he supported his upfront Agnelo Gomes and Marcos Pereira, who has so far scored 16 goals in the competition.
Without their foreign recruits a depleted ITI, relegated after being placed at the bottom of the League, have nothing to lose as they will try to play more defensive game to frustrate their more fancied opponent.
Against HAL, Vasco came up with a vintage show, scoring four goals in each half. Gomes slammed four goals, including a hattrick while Marcos hit a double as the Goan team simply demolished their opponents.
Pereira hoped his team would keep up the momentum of winning big. He knows that by this way, he could also create more pressure on the nearest rivals.
East Bengal were unbeaten for 17 matches and runaway favourites before their successive loss to JCT and Mahindra.
Those two matches have changed the equation a bit, allowing Vasco to breathe down their neck.