Durand Cup 2019: Gokulam enters Semis, will play TRAU in last group match

KOLKATA: Gokulam Kerala FC have entered the semifinal of the 129 th edition of the Durand Cup as another match in the group between Chennaiyin FC and TRAU FC got abandoned due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Gokulam Kerala FC are leading the group with six points from two matches while Air Force is second placed with three points from two matches.

Even if Gokulam Kerala FC loss to TRAU FC on Sunday, and Air Force win their match against Chennaiyin FC, Gokulam will progress to the semifinal by virtue of defeating Air Force in the group match. Both TRAU FC and Chennaiyin FC have only one point from two matches so far.

Though insignificant Gokulam coach Fernando Varela believes the team has to evolve more and focus on the match on Sunday at Salt Lake Stadium like any other encounter. 

“I am glad that we have entered the semifinals of the prestigious tournament.  But Trau is an intense team and they work superbly as a team. They are fast offensively and defensively strong. Matches like these are important for us to evolve into a better side,” said Fernando Varela.

Gokulam face East Bengal in the semifinal and the Spaniard opines, it will be an interesting encounter. “My focus is on the next match. We need to win no matter what happens thereafter. It will be a great opportunity to play against a legacy club. But I am now concentrating on the match against TRAU FC,” he said.

Fernando is expected to make some changes in the starting line-up. “It is likely, we are analysing different variants but nothing has been confirmed so far,” he said  

“We have a lot of work to do. There is more to improve. We should not believe that we have something important yet. We must be humble and competitive,” said Fernando.

Gokulam will be out with their injured Ugandan striker Henry Kisekka. “Henry is getting better but we must be cautious and look to the future. We still do not know if he can next games,” he informed.

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