South China coach Ricardo Rambo is out to end Group G winners Mohun Bagan’s unbeaten streak in the 2016 AFC Cup later today and secure a vital victory the Hong Kong side need to advance to the Round of 16.
Rambo’s side lost 4-0 in their first meeting with the I-League side in March, a defeat that came as part of a run of three defeats in succession on the continent for South China which left them nearing elimination at the midway stage of the group.
However, back-to-back home wins over Maziya Sports & Recreation of the Maldives and Myanmar’s Yangon United has seen South China roar back into contention for a last 16 place and they now sit in second place, albeit with just a slim one point advantage over the chasing pack.
“Obviously Mohun Bagan defeated us 4-0 and they are a great team and we have to do much better this time around but the boys are motivated and I am sure we can do well and win the encounter,” said Rambo, who will be without suspended forward Lam Hok Hei.
“We are looking to win since a win will confirm our participation in the next round and we don’t have to depend on the results of the other teams in fray.”
“I only worry about my own team and not the opponents. So if we play well it really doesn’t matter the players they play with.”
Hosts Mohun Bagan, who have recorded three wins and two draws in the group stage so far, will also have an enforced absence in the form of suspended midfielder Bikramjit Singh. Coach Sanjoy Sen, though, is still looking for a strong finish to the group stage.
“Obviously we want to win the match because we have so far been undefeated and we want to finish the group stages as unbeaten champions. And I think we can do it definitely,” said Sen.
“Even though we beat South China 4-0 in the reverse fixture, it was tough going for us which most people won’t say after seeing the scoreline. I think they have a chance to qualify and hence they will be obviously hungry.”
by AFC Media