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I-League 2019-20: East Bengal Eye Top Place on Table as They Host Bottom-placed TRAU FC

I-League 2019-20: East Bengal will host TRAU FC at the Kalyani Stadium, looking to take the top place in the points table.

News18 Sports

Updated:December 13, 2019, 11:28 PM IST
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I-League 2019-20: East Bengal Eye Top Place on Table as They Host Bottom-placed TRAU FC
East Bengal host TRAU FC in the I-League. (Photo Credit: AIFF)

Kalyani: East Bengal will be playing host to bottom-placed Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC for an I-League 2019-20 game at the Kalyani Municipality Stadium on Saturday, December 14. The match is scheduled for a 5PM kick-off and will be broadcast Live on DSport.

In their previous encounter at NEROCA FC, East Bengal played to their potential and came out with a convincing 4-1 win. The victory took the Kolkata outfit to third place in the points table with five points in three matches and will now take on the other Imphal-based side - TRAU FC.

Despite finding their scoring touch, if there is one area where East Bengal would want to work that is the defence as they have failed to keep a clean sheet so far.

Speaking ahead of the match, East Bengal head coach Alejandro Menendez said, "I think the win versus NEROCA was really important. We deserved to win the other games too but to win away is a job well done. It gives a lot of confidence to the team, it helps us grow and not just in terms of results. We are building our team and we are trying to be better every day."

On the lack of clean sheets, he remained calm, and commented, "I think it's anecdotal because the number of chances we have conceded has been low during the three games. I think our defence is doing a good job and I am satisfied."

On the context of the Kolkata derby being on the horizon, he further added, "Everybody is thinking about the derby but I am focused on the game against TRAU. We are very close and for me, there is no derby until we are finished against TRAU."

Going forward, East Bengal have been relying on the Spanish trio of Juan Mera, Marcos De La Espada and Jaime Santos Colado. They will, however, be without the services of Colado against TRAU as the Spaniard is facing a suspension.

TRAU FC, on the other hand, have had a tough start in their debut I-League season, remaining winless after their first two fixtures. They lost to defending champions Chennai City FC in their season opener at Coimbatore and were then outplayed by Mohun Bagan at home with the Mariners registering a dominant 4-0 win.

The visitors from Tiddim Road now await their second fixture in a space of three days at the Kalyani Stadium, and will be hoping to put on a better show this time around.

While TRAU have shown some good touch with the ball, the overall inexperience has cost them. Mohun Bagan played with the pace and on the wings very well to create spaces for them in front of the goal.

Another thing that TRAU would desperately need to work on is the striking force as their play in the final third has been haphazard.

Putting things into perspective, TRAU team official Douglas da Silva said, "We have to play in the same way but of course we have to discuss and practice according to the mistakes that we did in the last match, so for that we need to train hard and keep our focus and concentrate on the next match."

Speaking on the morale of his dressing room, he added, "It's tough for everyone after two losses, but my players know that they played well but we made little mistakes for which we lost the two games. Football is a sport where you cannot afford to make mistakes, even when you play better than your opponent."

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