East Bengal looks to ‘win big’ on new turf

Bangalore, May 27 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) For football in Bangalore, it’s a new beginning – the match is scheduled to be played at the newly laid artificial turf at the Bangalore Football Stadium. For the two clubs however, it’s a bit different, a bit anti-climatic to be precise.

As East Bengal face Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in a 26th round match of the I-League in the Garden City on Saturday, a lot of calculations are doing the rounds.

East Bengal, who were very much in contention for the I-League crown till the last match will have to inspire themselves and win big to mathematically keep alive their chances of lifting the title.

Hosts HAL on the other hand presently languish at the bottom of the League table, at the 14th place. Given their form, a win will mark a new beginning and usher in a new lease of life for them. But, it’s easier said than done.

Despite the situation, the Red-and-Gold players looked relaxed and enjoyed every bit of their rigorous training session under the watchful eyes of coach Trevor Morgan.

The optimistic man that he is, Morgan believes East Bengal still stand a chance of lifting the title. “Though we did not live up to expectations in the last two matches in Goa, we intend to win our remaining two matches by a big margin. To stay in contention, we need to win by minimum 4-5 goals or more (if possible),” he said.

“But mere winning won’t land us the title. We are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for a JCT win against Salgaocar on 30th.”

With the new turf having being laid down, HAL have been practicing hard for the big battle. Manager Muralidharan said: “We will give our best. To avoid relegation, we need to win both our remaining matches.” But given the mindset East Bengal are in at the moment, Muralidharan knows he may end up defending for the entire ninety minutes.

More than the match, the fans in Bangalore wait for the newly-laid turf. For football in Bangalore, as we said, it’s a new beginning.

The kick-off is slated for 4.30pm.

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