Kolkata, May 3 (IANS) East Bengal will be under pressure to overturn a 1-2 deficit against Shillong Lajong FC in a second leg match here on Wednesday and advance to the semi-finals of the Federation Cup football tournament.
Shillong beat East Bengal in their own backyard 2-1 in the first leg match, only seven days after beating them to finish sixth the I-League.
The young Lajong squad dominated the eight-time champions and won with goals from youngster Chinglensana Singh and Brazilian Fabio Pena.
The team underwent their first training preparation in Kolkata on Tuesday in blistering heat conditions, which could be a factor in determining the outcome of the contest.
The match will kick off at 4.30 p.m in hot and humid conditions typical of Kolkata during his season, which could be an advantage to East Bengal over their hilly rivals.
“The 4:30 pm kick off will be testing but as a team we have a mission and a plan. We should worry more about the opponent and focus on the game,” Lajong coach Thangboi Singto said in a release on Tuesday.
Singto believes his boys will continue to stay strong at the back.
“We need to continue to score goals and try our best not to concede. The boys have to stay strong against East Bengal. Our away record has not been up to the mark this year and I hope we improve it with our first away game of Fed Cup on Wednesday.”
East Bengal will look to exploit the home advantage and look to notch up their first win under new coach Trevor James Morgan.
Morgan has lost both the matches he has overseen since taking over earlier this month.
Morgan would hope his top goal scorer, Ranti Martins rises to the occasion.
They have a crucial away goal, scored by South Korean Do Dong-Hyun, and Singto was aware of the tough task at hand.
“The players at East Bengal are seasoned professionals so they will approach the game at their best. We need to continue to play how we have been playing all along as a team,” Singto noted.