Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) With their place in the I-League’s top-six on the line, Mohammedan Sporting will face a tough challenge against an unbeaten Real Kashmir at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) on Sunday.
Mohammedans sit in sixth place with 13 points. With Aizawl FC hot on their heels, coach Sankarlal Chakraborty’s side need a win against Real Kashmir that have won five of the nine matches thus far and sit second on the table.
The I-League is being played in two phases in the shortened season due to Covid-19 pandemic. The first phase ends on Monday after which the league will be divided into two groups. Group A will consist of the top six while Group B will be made of the remaining five teams. Teams will play each other once in a round-robin format within the groups and points from both phases will be put together to determine the league winners and the team that gets relegated.
Mohammedan SC recorded their third win in nine matches when a stunning last-minute winner from Suraj Rawat gave them a 2-1 win over Chennai City last week.
“The game against Real Kashmir is a factor that will determine our future in the league and we are aware of what is expected of us. I always tell the players to focus on the match but not on the league table. We prefer to go match by match and it will be the same against them (Real Kashmir),” said Chakraborty.
Real Kashmir confirmed their spot in the top six of the league table with a 3-1 victory over Aizawl FC. The Snow Leopards sit second on the standings with 17 points, two short of toppers Churchill Brothers.
Despite achieving a top-six spot, David Robertson will push his side to reduce the gap on the top with a win, considering that points from both the phases will be counted together to determine the champion.
“There is no margin for error as we have 5 games left after this game. We got to focus on our philosophy and see where it takes us. Mohammedan have had an inconsistent season, but they have quality players. We know they will be fired up because it is a must-win game for them. They are a difficult opponent to play, and we got to be at our best,” said Robertson.