Durand Cup 2021: FC Goa ready for Delhi test in quarterfinal2 min read
KOLKATA: FC Goa will face debutantes Delhi FC in the semifinal of the 130th Durand Cup on Friday at Kalyani Stadium, kick-off 2 pm.
The match was supposed to take place at Mohun Bagan ground but the Local Organizing Committee decided to move the game to Kalyani stadium. The decision has been taken given the incessent rain in the city of Kolkata over the last few days, leaving the conditions at Mohun Bagan ground unplayable.
FC Goa’s heist in the Durand Cup has been pretty smooth so far. The Gaurs progressed to the quarter-finals of the Durand Cup after topping their group in emphatic fashion with 3 wins in as many games.
What has been even more impressive is the fact that Juan Ferrando so far hasn’t had to call in the foreign cavalry with skipper Edu Bedia appearing sporadically whilst defender Ivan Gonzalez has yet to make an appearance.
In their absence, the youngsters have taken over the mantle. Devendra Murgaokar and Muhammed Nemil have looked much at ease in terms of leading the line – having scored 3 goals each.
At the back, Papuia and Leander D’Cunha have shown promise while keeper Hrithik Tiwari started off his career at the top level with a clean sheet against Jamshedpur FC.
Elsewhere, youngsters such as Makan Winkle Chothe and Christy Davis have shown themselves to be dependable options for Juan Ferrando.
We have a great mix of youth players and senior players syncing and working as per plan,’’ said Coach Juan Ferrando who stayed firm on the fact that the past results will stay in the past and that the team will continue to look at ways to improve and work on different tactical approaches as the tournament and season progresses.
Elaborating on the same, he said, “I am very happy with the amount of time we have this season (for the pre-season) unlike last season. With the pre-season friendlies, the Durand Cup and training sessions will all help set the team and the plans we have in place.’’
A big win for Delhi FC in their final game against Kerala helped them leapfrog the Blasters to second place in Group C, setting up the quarter final against FC Goa. The team from the capital city will be banking on their star forward Willis Plaza to continue his goal scoring efforts after scoring all 4 of the team’s goals in the tournament so far.
Former India U17 star Anwar Ali has also shown glimpses of much promise in the tournament with his goal line clearance in the last game against Kerala proving to be a difference maker.
Juan Ferrando, though, will hope that FC Goa will have enough in their kitty to get over the challenge and enter the semis.