Saturday, June 15, 2024

SLFC face last-placed ONGC today


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SHILLONG: Shillong Lajong FC will take on ONGC in a round 12 encounter of the I-League at the Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, at 2:00pm on Saturday.

Lajong managed to hold Air India to a 1-1 draw in the I-League clash last Sunday and are currently in eighth position with 13 points.

ONGC, on the other hand are rock bottom in 14th place with seven points.

Speaking on Friday, SLFC coach Desmond Bulpin said, “I am looking forward for a win, but even if we draw tomorrow’s game, I will be very happy because that will make us five games without a loss”.

He also said that the team spirit is good and he is very happy with the team’s performance.

“ONGC have done very well and if we perform the level we expect then I am confident that we will win the game.

“I also would like to congratulate Ming (Larsing Ming Sawyan, owner of SLFC) on being selected as the Vice-President of the AIFF from the North East Zone”, he concluded.

ONGC managed to hold Salgaocar FC to a goalless draw in the 11th round.

In two prior matches between the teams, Lajong have triumphed on both occasions, but they have not clashed since 2009.

Meanwhile, Defending champions Dempo will look to put behind the disappointment of their humiliating loss to Pune FC when they take on minnows Pailan Arrows in the 12th round of I-League at the in Kolkata on Saturday.

Goa giants and title favourites, Dempo suffered one of the biggest losses in recent times when they were outplayed 1-5 by Pune FC at their home. That cost them pole position in the table to rivals Churchill Brothers.

Although Dempo will start as clear favourites against Pailan, they have suffered major blows with English forward Rohan Ricketts and seasoned Mahesh Gawli ruled out with injuries. There is also a cloud of uncertainty over Japanese striker Ryuiji Sueoka taking the field as he did not turn up for Friday’s practice because of a niggle.

Nigerian Koko Sakibo was the only foreigner who turned out for the morning practice.

The Arrows will take the field after an 11-day break as their 11th round match against Mohun Bagan was deferred.

“We have been playing every week and that set us in a rhythm. We hope the break would not affect the rhythm and the team continues to play its original game,” coach Arthur Papas said.

In the two other matches on Saturday, struggling Salgaocar will take on fellow Goan side Sporting Clube de Goa. The two teams are 12th and 13th in the table, with Sporting just one ahead with eight points.

Fourth placed Pune FC will face fifth placed Prayag United. (with PTI inputs)


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