I-League: ONGC aim to gain momentum

New Delhi, Nov 8: With just one point from four games ONGC will look to gain some momentum when they take on Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in the I-League here Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The oilmen languish in 13th place, second from bottom, with three losses and a draw. Their opponents haven’t gotten off to a start either, Mohun Bagan are in a disappointing eighth place with two wins and two losses to their name.

Though the Kolkata side have won both their last two games, they lost their first two games of the season — to Prayag United and Shillong Lajong, respectively.

ONGC coach Subrata Bhattacharya said Thursday that his team needed to gain momentum to stay away from the relegation zone.

“We need to gain the momentum. We need to add to our account at any cost. We have been unlucky but at the end of the day, it’s just an excuse. There’s no room for errors,” he said.

On the other hand, Mohun Bagan coach Mridul Banerjee urged his team to not let go of the winning run they had started.

“We cannot let slip the momentum.” he said.

“We are not a one-man team,” Mridul stressed. “Mohun Bagan is a team of 11 players. It’s not about Odafa (Okolie) alone. Odafa is a great striker and he is doing his job just as the other 10 members on the field are doing theirs,” he went on.

The Nigerian striker has been the saving grace for Mohun Bagan in an otherwise poor start to the season. He has scored four of his team’s five goals this season playing just two matches.

“I’m happy I’m scoring goals for my team. That’s what is expected of me. But I’m happier with the ground condition at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. It’s very good,” Odafa, fresh from a hat-trick in his last outing, said.

Subrata warned his team to be wary of the Mohun Bagan striker, who has scored 131 goals in his I-League career.

“Odafa has been ruling Indian football for almost a decade,” opines ONGC Coach Subrata. “You give him freedom on the field and he will kill you. We will have to keep an eye on him. I don’t believe in man marking. I may rather opt for a zonal marking for him,” he opines.

IANS