May 19, 2011

East Bengal inch closer to I League title

Kolkata: East Bengal's prolific striker Tolgay Ozbey is looking forward to the I-League game against Salgaocar Sports Club in Goa on Thursday. The Australian believes that a win against the Goan club can get them closer to the title.
After a crucial 3-2 win over Dempo Sports Club at home, East Bengal travel to Goa to face Salgaocar in a tie that may be considered as a title decider. However, mathematically, the other two teams from the top four, Churchill Brothers and Dempo, are very much in the title race.
From this position all that East Bengal have to hope for is a win and nothing other than that, in order to clinch the title. Ozbey seems optimistic about a positive result against Karim Bencherifa's side.
East Bengal inch closer to I League title
"The win against Dempo was a massive success to keep us in front of the title race. They are a very good side and it was important to beat them. It has boosted our confidence for the coming matches," Ozbey told
"We are in a good position as we have more games remaining than the other title contenders expect Dempo and if we win against Salgaocar we will be almost champions. It does not matter whom we play; what matters is a win. No doubt Salgaocar is a good side. They have been very good this season so we need to be focused while playing them," Ozbey remarked with a pinch of warning to his team mates.
After the hot-blooded game against Dempo at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, East Bengal will be without pivotal defenders Uga Okpara and Gurwinder Singh due to suspension. In their absence, Mehrajuddin Waddo and Sunil Kumar are expected to function in the centre back positions. Nirmal Chhetri, who was sent-off as well in the last game, shall miss the important match while coach Trevor Morgan is likely to take a late call on goalkeeper Sandip Nandy who bruised his knee against the defending champions.
"Well, the absence of players in key positions is a bit of a worry. But if you go to see we have two very good players Mehraj and Sunil coming in as replacements for Gurwinder and Okpara. Mehraj and Sunil are no strangers to the game; they have the experience that is required. So, there is nothing much to worry about. Sandip should recover in time but even if he does not, we have Jayanta Paul who is also an extremely talented keeper. So all we need to do is give our best on the field," the 25-year old front man revealed.
When asked whether he is eyeing the highest goal-scorer title in this season’s I-League, he said, "Well, I can't say anything. It's nice to have scored so many goals and scoring some more in the matches to come will be even better. Yes if I become the top scorer it will be a big achievement in my debut season with the East Bengal."

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