Margao: It’s do or die battle for Salgaocar as they take on East Bengal on Thursday in the crucial I-League match at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda which will decide their fate in the title play.
Thursday’s match is crucial for both teams as a win for East Bengal will see them equal on points with Salgaocar at the top and a bright prospect of winning the title.
While for Salgaocar, a defeat Thursday will see them out of contention of winning the title as they have only one match to play against JCT after Wednesday's match. While East Bengal have three more matches to play.
The pressure of hanging on the top position, probably, has resulted in Salgaocar's lack of focus in their recent matches which saw them winning only one match out of five, which saw them drop to second place.
But a 3-1 comfortable win against Indian Arrows in their last match and East Bengal win over Dempo who are the other two contenders for the title, saw them bounce back at the top of the table with 50 points from 24 matches, two matches more than East Bengal who are three points behind them.
Besides the likes of Captain Luciano Sabrosa, Rocus Lamare, Ryuji Sueoka and Yakubu Yusif, the team certainly lacks the experience to cope up with pressure.
The over dependence on their frontline pair Ryuji and Yakubu, to score goals, have hampered the team performance.
The foreign duo has contributed 31 goals together out of the total 53 scored by Salgaocar in the league.
Playing at nearly full strength and with home support, Salgaocar certainly are at advantageous position and it will be seen how their defenders and midfield tackle the likes of East Bengal nimble footed Penn Orji, Mehtab Hossain, Naoba Singh, Robin Singh and Tolgay Ozbey who is their main goal getter.

East Bengal who will play without Gurwinder Singh and Nirmal Chhetri ,spent their time on the beach on Tuesday to get rid off the pressure.
"We have two crunch matches to play in Goa against Salgaoncar and Churchill Brothers who are the title contenders and if we are able to beat them than the title is ours,"
stated Morgan.
Salgaocar coach Karim Bencherifa knows how important it is to win tomorrow. "It’s like a final. If we lose we are out of the contention for the title. I have asked the boys to play
the football they know of, with no pressure."
"Our players have played all along and we were sitting pretty on top until we lost focus in the last five matches to put ourselves under pressure to win tomorrow," stated Bencherifa.