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Leaders RoundGlass Punjab visit second-from-bottom Mumbai Kenkre

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MUMBAI: Mumbai Kenkre return to home soil to host Hero I-League leaders RoundGlass Punjab at the Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. The match will kick off at 7 PM IST.

In their previous fixture, RoundGlass Punjab recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory against Real Kashmir to open up a four-point gap at the top. However, it was soon reduced to a single point after rivals Sreenidi Deccan’s win over NEROCA.

Mumbai Kenkre, on the other hand, narrowly went down 0-1 to holders Gokulam Kerala in Kozhikode. But irrespective of the result, coach Akhil Kothari believed it was a strong display from the Mumbaikars. “We were unfortunate not to get anything out of the game even after playing so well against Gokulam. But it happens sometimes – when you play really well and still don’t win. After that, we focused on recovery as we only had three days to prepare for the Punjab game,” said Kothari.

Kothari believes his team is in better shape compared to the last time these two sides met, a 3-0 win for RoundGlass Punjab in Panchkula a fortnight ago. He also feels the home advantage will play a key role in tomorrow’s game. “Now, we’re at home and much more focused. We know what to expect from a strong side like Punjab, and we will be much more competitive this time,” assured Kothari.

RoundGlass Punjab head coach Staikos Vergetis has a plan ready to execute against Mumbai Kenkre. He said, “Just like other games, we have laid out a plan for tomorrow as well. We have to defend better so we face less dangerous situations, and in attack, we have to do everything to get the three points.”

Despite their opponents languishing in the relegation zone, Vergetis gave them due respect. “Kenkre is a difficult opponent for us. They have performed really well in recent games. Even though they lost against Gokulam in their last game, they were very competitive, especially in the first half. So we are expecting a very strong contest tomorrow,” said the Greek.

The match between Mumbai Kenkre and RoundGlass Punjab will be broadcast live on Eurosport and Doordarshan Sports and streamed live on the Discovery Plus OTT platform at 7 PM IST.