I-League leaders Mohun Bagan face Sporting Clube

Margao, Feb 29 (IANS) A confident Mohun Bagan side will aim to strengthen their position at the top of the I-League table when they clash with Goan outfit Sporting Clube de Goa at the Fatorda Stadium here on Tuesday.

Bagan have been unbeaten in the season so far and are three points clear of second-placed Bengaluru Football Club. The defending champions currently have 21 points from nine games, having won six and drawn three.

On the other hand, Sporting Clube are at the fourth spot with 12 points from nine games, with three wins and three losses.

In the first leg encounter, a solitary goal from captain Katsumi Yusa and some outstanding goalkeeping from Debjit Majumder ensured all three points for the Kolkata giants against Sporting Clube at the Barasat Stadium.

The hosts come into the match after a thrilling 2-2 draw with Mumbai FC on Saturday while Bagan are in top form having outclassed former champions Salgaocar FC 3-1 on the same day.

Tuesday’s game will provide the perfect platform for the Mariners to grab full points and put pressure on teams like Bengaluru and third placed East Bengal who are aiming to close the gap.

Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen would like Jeje Lalpekhlua and Haitian midfielder Sony Norde to score on Tuesday. The defence have been Bagan’s weak link this season with a tendency to concede goals in the second half.

They need to be extra careful with Sporting striker Okolie Odafa around, who has been in sublime form this season. Sporting midfielder Nicholas Fernandes too has netted a few this season and could be another danger that the Bagan rear guard will have to deal with.

However, the match is more likely to be a clash of two strong forward lines.

Bagan will aim for a win, but a draw will also see them maintain the top spot. Sporting Clube meanwhile, will strive to grab three points at home and close the gap in the points table.

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