“Anything less than full points tomorrow would be very negative.” Jose Barreto tells it like it is ahead of Mohun Bagan’s home match against Sporting Clube de Goa on Saturday. And should Mohun Bagan get a penalty, their talisman will continue to be the first choice.
The teams go into this third I-League match on the back of goalless draws in the 16th round and with players who fluffed penalty kicks. Barreto missed against JCT in the last round and Sporting Clube de Goa midfielder Nicholas Rodrigues was denied by the Lajong keeper.
“Maybe I didn’t prepare myself like I normally do. This time it will be different,” Barreto said of his second penalty miss in less than three months (he also missed one against East Bengal in the Federation Cup semifinal).
With coach Satyajit Chatterjee saying should Barreto agree, he will be the choice for a spot-kick, it was clear that Mohun Bagan are backing the man their fans call an all-weather goal-scoring machine.
Both teams have changed coaches since they drew 2-2 in Margao last November. Vishwas Gaonkar replaced Roy Barreto. And last month, Chatterjee took over from Karim Bencherifa who’s trying to guide Salgaocar away from the drop zone now.
That’s where similarities end. Sporting Clube have never been able to move from the bottom of the table and go into this match searching for their first win. In fifth place on 25 points, Mohun Bagan are still part of the leaderboard.