Indian Arrows football team open their campaign this calendar year 2018 in the I-League as they take on Indian football giants East Bengal in New Delhi on Monday. The youth side are entering the match at the back of a stunning 1-1 draw against another Indian football giant, Mohun Bagan, that too in Kolkata.
The stars of tomorrow brushing shoulders with some highly-accomplished players like Yusa Katsumi and Willis Plaza as well as facing one of the biggest football sides in India, is a huge motivation in itself for them.
Star goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem will be missing the match as well as the rest of the I-League 2017-18 season. Here's why.
Nobody is expecting the Indian Arrows to post an emphatic win against the heavyweights, but Luis Norton de Matos' side are doing everything possible in their maiden season to keep us surprised.
All the games that we play in the I-League are a big motivation for us. Against Mohun Bagan, we pulled off a very massive result and the boys showed that it is possible to play against some of the best teams in the nation.
East Bengal are a very good and organized team. Their coach Khalid Jamil is a very good coach and they have many players which are very difficult to stop in the final third.
I expect a very hard game for us, but we are prepared for it. We are going to play to win and we will play to our maximum tomorrow as well against East Bengal.
– Luis Norton de Matos (at the pre-match presser).
Jitendra Singh became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the I-League, the young Indian side held the mighty Mariners to a draw and Nongdamba Naorem's brilliant goal against Shillong Lajong has become one of the greatest goals ever to be scored by an Indian footballer.
Currently, East Bengal are on top of the I-League table with 14 points from 7 matches. Indian Arrows, meanwhile, are seventh in the league after 7 matches.
INDIAN ARROWS vs EAST BENGAL
Date: January 2
Time: 2 pm IST
Venue: Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi
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