Calcutta: Penn Orji thinks Mohammedan Sporting’s poor rate of conversion is a cause for worry.
“We are creating many chances, but fail to convert those. This is a worrying sign. If we want to win the IFA Shield and perform well in the I-League we need to convert chances,” he said after Friday’s practice session at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Penn is the fulcrum of the Mohammedan Sporting team and much will depend on him against Dhanmondi Club, on Saturday. Penn said Mohammedan Sporting are not just only playing for the city.
“It’s not just Calcutta’s prestige at stake. The country’s too. This team has beaten both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. We cannot afford to lose to them… That will be a face loss,” he said.
Penn though feels it will be easier to face Dhanmondi in the final since Mohammedan Sporting have now a fair idea of their rivals. “When we played our group-stage match, we did not know what to expect. So in that way we know their weaknesses.”
Refusing to buy the idea that the final will be a battle between two cerebral players — Penn and Dhanmondi Sony Nordy — the Nigerian said: “Football is not about individuals. It’s a team game. Everybody has to perform.”
Mohammedan Sporting coach Sanjoy Sen said he would want his team to finish off the match in the regulation time. “I would not like the match go to the extra-time or tie-breaker… It’s too nerve-wracking…”
Dhanmondi coach Joseph Afusi also said he would like to see the match end at regulation time. “But rule says if there is no goal you have to play extra-time. And then there will tie-breaker. So you know what I mean.”
Afusi said his team has the edge. “A team which defeated East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will obviously have the advantage. We are all ready to dent Mohammedan Sporting’s pride,” he said.
Sony also promised to deliver on Saturday. “This is my last match in India. I will give my best,” said the man who is being wooed by a handful Indian clubs.