QUESS EAST BENGAL (QEB) find themselves in a must-win situation every game as they take on the Indian Arrows in a 12th Hero I-League return-leg clash at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) on Friday, January 18, 2019. The match which begins Game Week 13 of the country’s top-flight football league, is scheduled for a 5 pm IST start.
The young Indian Arrows squad coached by Floyd Pinto will look to sustain the momentum gained over the last five games, a period in which they notched up nine of their 13 points, placing them at a lifetime high eighth position in their short but impressive two-year stint at the league.
They have won seven games in this period and went one up on their three wins last year with their fourth win of the season four days back against Shillong Lajong, whom they swamped 3-0 at their home.
Speaking to media on the eve of the game, Floyd Pinto had this to share,
“The memories of the last match is still fresh and we can do much better than what we did. If we play every game according to the game plan, we can easily manage three points. I am happy with my team’s performance. They have improved a lot. Our previous game against Shillong was very good. East Bengal is a strong team and they have a good attack with good quality of players in the team. We will be giving our best, will play together and cover up for each other.”
The two teams met 10 days back and the Kolkata giants won that game displaying their obvious superiority but to the Arrows credit, they put up a great fight and even scored in the dying stages against a team which boasts of a world-cupper in their defence.
QEB, however, have also played some solid football over the past few weeks but have also gone down when put under pressure and that will concern their ardent fans and supporters as it also should their Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez Garcia.
Garcia also shared his views on match-day eve saying,
“Our team performace was good in the last match. We scored once. We will keep giving our best shot. We are in the league and there are many matches left and if we play well, get the points and continue winning, we can still fight for the title. Tomorrow’s match will be difficult because it is a young team, but they have good skills and play with high intensity. We need to match up to that.”
There is both good news and bad news in the East Bengal camp ahead of the Arrows game. While attacker Didika is suspended after picking up his fourth booking of the season, the Red and Golds will also welcome back fullback Lalram Chullova, who returns from suspension.
With a game in hand, and a win capable of taking them up to second on the table, the ‘Red & Golds’ will no doubt come at the Arrows with full force in front of home fans, but Floyd Pinto knows that the pace and control of his young and talented boys can surprise any team on their day and will be prepared for anything thrown at them.
In the end, will the killer statistic be QEB’s 20 goals scored this season to the Arrows eight? VYBK on Friday evening will hold the answer.
AIFF media release