The second semifinal of the 34th Federation Cup 2012 is expected to offer a feast of creative football as the two most accomplished sides of the country – Salgaocar FC and Dempo SC – lock horns at the Kanchanjungha Stadium on Friday (September 28,2012).
Salgaocar, which claimed the title last year beating East Bengal at the latter’s home, will look have a step closer to the title defence its successful Moroccan coach Karim Bencherifa. The holder of I-league championship record – Dempo – will be driven by the desire to better its Fed Cup profile having won the title only once in 2004.
Dempo has institutionalised success under its long serving coach Armando Colaco, who promised an absorbing clash in the first engagement between the two sides in the national calendar. The two teams have played a draw each time meeting twice in the pre-season preparations back home at Goa.
But Salgaocar enjoys a better record in the Fed Cup semi-finals having beaten Dempo in both the previous meetings in 1994 (Margao) and in 1997 (Guwahati).
“We are no rivals. The best thing about football in Goa is that we share mutual respect. Whether we win or lose we go home happy,” Colaco said dispelling the element of bitterness from the impending clash. “There are no clear favourite as both teams have good players who can steer the match any way,” Colaco added. Dempo will have play with only one foreigner – Nigerian forward Koko Sakibo – as its other attacker, Japanese Ryuiji Seuoka, is injured. “You think Indian football depends on foreigners? I am not against the foreigners, but only those who are good should be given the chance,” Colaco said reposing faith on his home players like Climax Lawrence, Samir Naik, Mahesh Gawli to shoulder the responsibility.
“My side is young and will try to play good football. There no pressure as such,” Karim Bencherifa said about his Salgaocar side. “For us qualifying to the semifinals has been a great achievement and we hope to carry the form ahead,” he added. When Karim was aksed to asses hi opponent which is depending on one foreigner the coach said, “They (Dempo) do not need any foreigner as players like Climax (Lawrence) and Sameer (Naik) are as good as any foreign player.” Karim, however, has a full house of foreigners, which include Sean Rooney of Australian, Angel Guirado of Philippines and Brazilian Luciano Sabrosa.
(AIFF Press Release)
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