I-League: Kerala confident to dent East Bengal’s title hopes

Kozhikode [India]: After humbling Mohun Bagan in Kolkata, debutants Gokulam Kerala FC are gearing up for another major humdinger in I-League as they are set to host Kingfisher East Bengal at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on Saturday.

Coming back from a major win, that too in an away fixture, coach Bino George said, “We have five matches left, we will try our best to do well.”

Meanwhile, it was the Kerala-outfit’s second win on the road while the first one came against Indian Arrows, the youngest side of the league.

Bino George lauded their newly-recruited Bahrainian midfielder Alajmi for his humongous effort of late.

“Alajmi was a replacement to Francis Ambane and he made the right impact on the team.”

Meanwhile, Kingfisher East Bengal have got the better of league leaders Minerva Punjab FC in their last outing which opened up the title race wide open.

Bino George righty pointed that the Kolkata outfit will surely go out all guns blazing to garner a win tomorrow. On the other hand, Gokulam will also need to focus on nothing less than three points tomorrow.

“For East Bengal, winning this match is important for them, the same way it is more important for us also win this particular match.”

Khalid Jamil, on the other hand, sees this match as a ‘very vital one’ as their opponents are coming from a hard-earned win.

“This match is very vital one for us and they’re playing very good football now. We have to be very cautious on the field and eventually, we need a win to stay alive in the title race.”

Kingfisher East Bengal have defeated Minerva Punjab FC in their last outing, and, incidentally, this was the Punjab-outfit’s first defeat at home this season.

Meanwhile, Khalid Jamil has his entire squad at his disposal and everyone is available for the selection.

The gaffer, as usual, prefers to take one match at a time and he is only focusing on tomorrow’s match now.

“We always prefer to take one match at a time and we won’t deviate from our strategy tomorrow. We have to be strong and we need a positive result”, Jamil confirmed.(ANI)