Federation Cup: Kingfisher East Bengal gear up for a tough Shillong Lajong challenge

East Bengal during training sessionKOLKATA: Kingfisher East Bengal take on Shillong Lajong in their second leg of the Hero Federation Cup encounter at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata tomorrow (May 04, 2016). The kick-off for which is at 4:30PM IST.

Goals from Khonsam Singh and Fabio Pena proved enough for Thangboi Singto’s men as Lajong won 2-1 against Trevor Morgan's men, with Do Dong Hyun scoring for the Red and Golds in the reverse fixture in Shillong.

Although Lajong clinched the first leg, a late sending-off of Robin Gurung for an elbow on Abinash Ruidas and an away goal by Kingfisher East Bengal soured the victory. In the Official Pre-Match Press Conference however, Shillong Lajong’s Thangboi Singto was hopeful of his side progressing to the next round.

"It would look like we do good against East Bengal as we won the last two matches but I want to do good in all matches that we have played and will play so far," said Singto.

Lajong had started with Fabio Pena upfront with Uilliams Souza on the bench in the first leg, but Singto, is expected to pair the duo from the very beginning at the Barasat Stadium tomorrow to add more firepower to Lajong’s attack. Young Nim Dorjee Tamang will look to helm the defence once again as Penn Orji will look forward to dictate play from the middle of the park.

For East Bengal however, the objective would be to win the match and put on end to their losing streak against Shillong Lajong, which continues from Hero I-League. The ‘Red and Golds’ will look to cash-in on home advantage and stretch Lajong to their limits, who have already had a torrid time with away fixtures this season.

The return of talismanic Do Dong Hyun, who scored the vital away goal for Kingfisher East Bengal, will up the morale of Trevor Morgan’s men. Arnab Mondal and Bello Rasaq are expected to marshal East Bengal’s defence, while Ranti Martins is expected to lead the attackforce for the ‘Red and Golds’.

"We are hopeful of overturning the deficit and progressing to the next round," said Kingfisher East Bengal’s Head Coach Trevor Morgan.

Morgan also asserted that Bernard Mendy would be up for selection for the starting XI against Shillong Lajong and claimed that the Frenchman has shaken off a slight niggle.

The away goal might be of utmost importance as a 1-0 win for East Bengal will be enough to take them through to the next round while Shillong Lajong must look to score, as playing for a draw might turn counter productive.