1/17/2019 6:58:52 PM (GMT+3)

We’re still in the title-race, says East Bengal coach Garcia

We’re still in the title-race, says East Bengal coach Garcia

KOLKATA: East Bengal will hope to get back on winning ways when they meet Indian Arrows in their return-leg match at the 12th I-League here on Friday.

The red and gold brigade had lost to Chennai City 2-1 in the previous match which has severely jolted their maiden I-League dream, but their Spanish coach Alejandro Garcia exuded confidence.

“We are still in the title-race as there are a lot matches left. Arrows are a difficult side. They’ve have some skilful players who play with high intensity. We need to match up to that,” said Garcia.

Though the Spaniard tried his best to motivate his side, who are currently seventh in the 11-team competition on 19 points, it will be a difficult proposition as they will be up against a youth squad here at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

To add to their woes, East Bengal will miss hardworking midfielder Laldanmawia Ralte, who picked up a red card against the Coimbatore-based side.

Garcia have another headache as Costa Rican defender Johnny Acosta, who already has three yellow cards, may miss the derby against Mohun Bagan on January 27 should he pick up another.

Arrows, meanwhile, will look to sustain the momentum gained in the last five games where they notched up nine of their 13 points.

East Bengal had beaten the developmenta side 2-1 in the first round at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on January 8. 

“The memories of our last match against them is still fresh. If we play every game according to our plan, we can manage three points. We will give our best,” said coach Floyd Pinto, whose team are eighth with 13 points from 12 matches.