Aircraftmen eye final chance to stay afloat

With Salgaocar winning the championship after beating JCT on Monday, Dempo now have no option but to beat HASC if they are to finish second.

With the curtains coming down after Wednesday’s match, the fear of relegation is looming large on three teams -- Air India, JCT, and HASC. ONGC are already relegated. The AIFF clarified on Tuesday that I-League rules focus on head-to-head records and not goal difference meaning HASC just need to win against Dempo to ensure safety.

If HASC, who have 21 points, win against Dempo, all four teams will end their campaign on 24 points. In that scenario, Air India and HASC will stay up with eleven and eight points respectively in head-to-heads between the four teams. JCT and ONGC have 7 but ONGC, are already relegated owing to a poorer head-to-head record against JCT.

HASC coach R Thyagarajan knows that they have no choice but to win against Dempo who are on a high after the 14-0 mauling of Air India, a league record. “We have to remain focused and play to our potential as Dempo will come hard at us because they need a victory to finish second,” stated Thyagarajan.

Dempo’s coach Armando Colaco is proud of his boys after winning comprehensively against Air India, which brought them close to winning the title. “Now we have no option but to win tomorrow’s match and finish on a high note behind Salgaocar,” stated the new India coach.

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