I-League 2017-18: East Bengal face tricky trip to Shillong Lajong as title race heats up

Shillong: East Bengal take on Shillong Lajong in a crucial I-League match on Monday with the Kolkata side needing a win to remain in contention for the title.

The Kolkata giants need to win their penultimate match to fancy their chances of winning their first I-League title.

East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil supervises a training session. Image courtesy: AIFF

East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil supervises a training session. Image courtesy: AIFF

Shillong Lajong, however, have the wherewithal to dent East Bengal's chances and they are high on confidence after their win against Aizawl FC in their previous match.

For Shillong Lajong, this will be their final match and they would look to end their season on a high note at the JLN Stadium.

East Bengal have also come into the match with a lot of confidence after their 7-1 drubbing of Chennai City in their previous game.

"We will be playing freely in tomorrows match. We are under no pressure whatsoever. We will be playing with the same team but the starting XI will be finalised on Monday," East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil said.

Asked about his plans for this match particularly, Jamil said, "We are not thinking about the points or our position in the standings. We are only focusing on the game and we are going to go all out for the win."

"Lajong are a very good side and they will be under less pressure tomorrow as they have nothing to lose since they are out of the league title contention. They will also be playing on their home ground which is an advantage," he said.

On the other hand, Shillong Lajong assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew said, "We are not underestimating East Bengal. They are a very good side. This is our last game and we will try our best to be in the top five."

"We have had a good break following our previous match and it has been good for the team. They are now fresh and renewed and ready for tomorrow's game," said Kharsyntiew.

Asked if he was happy with the team's performance this season, Kharsyntiew said, "I am happy with how the team has played but I'm not satisfied. The results could have been better."

"Right now, the Super Cup is coming up but we are not thinking about that too much. We need to concentrate on what is in front of us. We need to concentrate on tomorrows game as it is a must-win game for us. We need to win tomorrow and we need to focus," said Kharsyntiew.

"Though East Bengal is a good side, we are confident for tomorrow. We will go all out and play our best and see what happens," chipped in Lajong defender Aibanbha Dohling.

Published Date: Mar 05, 2018 15:13 PM | Updated Date: Mar 05, 2018 15:13 PM

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