I-League begins Saturday, spotlight on Dempo-Salgaocar clashOctober 21st, 2011 - 10:38 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) The showpiece I-League football tournament begins Thursday with defending champions Salgaocar taking on Dempo in Goa while Super Cup winners East Bengal face Churchill Brothers after a glittering opening ceremony at the Salt Late Stadium in Kolkata.
It would be an action packed opening day as Pune FC host newly promoted Shillong Lajong while in Bangalore, HAL take on Chirag United.
But the spotlight will be on the high-voltage clash between Salgaocar and four-time champion Dempo at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Margao.
Armando Colaco will be seen in charge with Dempo after having spent a brief period with the national team without much success.
“We are going in as underdogs as we haven’t got the right start and the players are rusty as they need to play a couple of matches before settling down. We have never got a good start in the past and will be looking for a win tomorrow to get the early momentum going,” said Colaco.
Dempo will certainly lack creativity of attacking mid-fielder Beto. The Brazilian moved to Churchill Brothers leaving a huge gap in Dempo mid-field. Dempo’s latest recruit from Trinidad and Tobago Densill Tabaldo is expected to fill in Beto’s absence.
Salgaocar ended the season winning both the I-League and the Federation Cup but made a disappointing starting this time by losing to East Bengal 9-8 via sudden death in the Super Cup. The team has no injury concerns and Nigerian Edeh Chidi, along with I-League’s best player Japanese Ryuiji Seoka, will be leading the team’s attack. Goalkeeper Karanjit Singh will be the man to watch out for.
In Kolkata, after a glittering opening ceremony, East Bengal, fresh from their Super Cup triumph, will be looking to make a winning start against Churchill Brothers.
East Bengal finished runners-up last year and also lost the Federation Cup final to Salgaocar. But they made a brilliant start to the season, beating Salgaocar in the Super Cup and will be looking to make the most of the winning start.
Coaches by Trevor Morgan, East Bengal surely are the top contenders for the title. The won the title eight years back when the tournament was known as the National Football League.
- Salgaocar thrash Churchill Brothers 3-0 in I-League - Jan 22, 2012
- I-League: All roads lead to the Goan Derby - Jan 28, 2012
- Dempo a draw away from winning the I-League - Apr 19, 2012
- Salgaocar edge past Chirag 1-0 in I-League - Apr 29, 2012
- Arnab, Clifford ruled out from AFC Challenge Cup - Mar 02, 2012
- Salgoacar's Bencherifa is I-League's best coach - Oct 18, 2011
- I-League: Churchill look to close gap on Dempo - Apr 10, 2012
- We can defeat Salgaocar, says Air India coach - Mar 30, 2012
- Salgaocar hold Dempo 0-0 in I-League - Jan 29, 2012
- I-League: Defending champions Salgaocar go down 0-1 to Dempo - Oct 22, 2011
- India's football friendly with South Africa postponed - Dec 05, 2011
- Dempo move step closer to I-League title - Apr 11, 2012
- Dempo are I-League champions - May 10, 2010
- East Bengal, Salgaocar to lock horns in Federation Cup final - Sep 28, 2011
- Churchill scrape past Air India in I-League - Feb 02, 2012
Tags: chidi, chirag, churchill brothers, colaco, cup triumph, east bengal, federation cup, football tournament, glittering opening, injury concerns, league football, margao, mid field, mid fielder, nehru stadium, right start, shillong, showpiece, time champion, trinidad and tobago