The Telegraph
Sunday , February 16 , 2014
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Bagan ready for Salgaocar

Calcutta: An exciting contest is on the cards when Mohun Bagan and Salgaocar FC resume their I-league campaign, at the Tilak Stadium, in Vasco, on Sunday.

There is very little to separate the two sides with both sharing the sixth spot with 18 points each. Even on team strength and form, there is little to differentiate.

For the last few years, Bagan have been putting up inconsistent performances. This year, too, things haven’t been any different. While they have made the Federation Cup semis, they bowed out of the Shield in the group stage.

Bagan will be aiming to put up consistent performances when they resume their campaign. One of the major reasons that hurt their chances is their over-dependence on star striker Odafa Okolie to win matches. However, with the Nigerian missing plenty of matches in the first leg due to injury, they are always left high and dry.

In Sunday’s match, too, they will miss Odafa. And under the circumstances, Katsumi Yusa, Christopher Chizoba and Denson Devadas will have to play a key role. Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa believes his boys have enough character to win against Salgaocar.

“We have beaten them in the first leg and hope to win tomorrow. It is going to be a tough contest with Salgaocar having the home advantage, but we are ready for the challenge,” said Karim.

Salgaocar, on the other hand, will be looking for a turnaround after they lost their way following their superb start to the season. Coach Derrick Pereira is confident that his team will do well. Bagan will be wary of Salgaocar’s new recruit Dudu Omagbemi, who had a successful stint in India versus Sporting Clube de Goa.