MARGAO: Bottom-placed, Dempo FC and Salgaocar FC will face off in a must-win game on Wednesday to keep themselves away from relegation in the I-League match, played at Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
Salgaocar put up a good performance in the first phase but two successive losses have put them at the bottom of the table with 17 points from 17 matches. Dempo, who dropped points after they drew against Mumbai FC, too have 17 points from 17 matches and are facing relegation.
They still have three matches remaining and Salgaocar coach Derrick Pereira is optimistic his team will do well.
"It is a situation we cannot afford to lose, all we can do is to collect three points if not one point will do. The team has been performing well but lack of finishing has cost us dearly," Pereira said.
"In the last match we committed silly mistakes which saw us concede a goal and that put us down. Now we have to look forward to do well in Wednesday's match.
"It's do or die situation for us and for four others. We have problems at the back but that problem would be solved if somebody upfront could get us goals. All three Goan teams are fighting to avoid relegation and we have to do our best to save relegation.
"There is question mark on Darryl Duffy playing as he has strained his leg after scoring against Bengaluru FC in the last match and is a doubtful starter. We have a practice session this evening and we will take a decision on Wednesday," said Pereira.
Dempo's coach Trevor Morgan too voiced similar concerns.
"We are in a position where we cannot afford to lose especially three matches to go, we love to get three points as we are in better position to save relegation. Looking at the situation around where others team are also fighting to save relegation, a draw will be disappointing," Morgan said.
"In football we cannot say what is going to happen next. At this moment things are in our hands but our fate is not going to be in our hand if we lose. So we need to win to place ourselves in a comfortable position to fight the next two tough matches," he added.
Dempo's defender Calum Angus said: "The boys know the situation they are in and have to give their best. Just like us there are four other teams fighting for relegation and a win is very important for us as it will put us in better position to avoid relegation.
"We take it one game at a time. I know the pressure we are under but we need to remain calm and give 100 per cent in order to win," said Angus.