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Kolkata to host first-ever I-League fixture

Kolkata to host first-ever I-League fixture

Kolkata [India]: Mohun Bagan will host Indian Arrows in the historic first ever Hero I-League match at their home ground on Friday.

Meanwhile, this will be the youngsters’ first visit to the city, which is termed as the Mecca of Indian Football after their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign.

The Green and Maroons will be looking to shrug off their mid-table blues and will be relying on the support of their faithful present at the club grounds.

Though the Kolkata giants have remained unbeaten this season so far, three draws with only two victories have seen them slip to the fifth spot on the Hero I-League table.

The latest results at home, a 1-1 draw with Shillong Lajong and a goalless stalemate against newly promoted NEROCA FC have made the fans restless coupled with arch-rivals Kingfisher East Bengal now perched on top of the standings.

“We play to win matches but is impossible to win all the games. Obviously will be eyeing full three points from tomorrow’s game. In the last match we created more chances but unfortunately could not convert. We have already lost too many points. Three draws are equivalent to defeats. We have dropped six points already. We cannot afford to lose any more points”, said head coach Sanjoy Sen on the eve of the game.

He also upped the young side, “Indian Arrows are a good side. They won their first game but lost in the next three matches. They successfully came back against Lajong and showed everybody they are a good side. We have to be cautious against them. When a team play together for a long time and train under a good coach, they obviously become an organised outfit. The coordination is evident from their performances.”

While Sony Norde and Arijit Bagui are ruled out, Eze Kingsley makes his comeback after a one-game suspension. Azharuddin Mallick could get his first start of the season in the left wing position.

On the flip side, Indian Arrows arrive after thrashing Shillong Lajong 3-0 on Boxing Day and the confidence was sky high.

“I am very much excited to come here to the ‘City of Joy’ for the first time and I have been told the passion here for the game is at a different level. With Kingfisher East Bengal, Mohun Bagan are the frontrunners to win or at least finish in a top-four place in this competition. They are experienced side and there is a lot of public support with the team that is important”, coach Norton de Matos Matos pointed out. (ANI)