Category: Durand Cup

Durand Cup: DSK Shivajians held by Indian Navy in six-goal thriller

 

2nd September 2016: Delhi, India – DSK Shivajians FC played out a six-goal thriller with Indian Navy and shared a point in the 128th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi on Friday. The result brightened debutants DSK Shivajians chances of making the semifinals.
A last gasp injury-time goal by the spirited Navy team cancelled the bulldozing comeback made by debutants DSK Shivajians who found themselves in arrears by an early goal.

DSK Shivajians had Rohit Kumar (36th minute), Arif Shaikh (45th) and Juan Quero (46th) account for their tally while Wayne Vaz (3rd), Hardik Kanojiya (60th) and Md. Irshad (90+3′) found the net for Indian Navy.

The result of this Group-A clash took DSK Shivajians points tally to 7 from three matches and thus in line for a berth in the last-4. Indian Navy has 6 points (4 matches), while Army Green has 4 points (2 matches).

Manager Dave Rogers made five changes to the playing eleven that played the previous encounter. Custodian Rakshit Dagar, Zohmingliana Ralte and Juan Quero who played the first match against Sporting clube were back, while Sairuat Kima and Surachandra Singh were handed their first playing eleven starts respectively, making way was the injured Gagandeep Singh, ‘keeper Sayak Barai, Lalnunsiama, Kim Song-Yong and Mohamed Sajid Dhot.

The captain’s arm band was worn by Spanish winger Juan Quero.

DSK Shivajians suffered an early setback when striker Wayne Vaz gave Indian Navy the lead in the third minute. A defensive error in the box after a short corner was crossed in at the near post allowed Wayne to capitalize and slot home for the opener.

Despite conceding early on, DSK Shivajians regained their composure and began pushing up. After numerous attacks which fell just short in the opening quarter, Manager Dave Rogers rung in the first tactical change bringing in North Korean striker Kim Song Yong for defender Shane McFaul in the 21st minute.

The constant pressure finally paid off as in-form LFC-DSK Academy graduate Rohit Kumar found the equalizer for DSK Shivajians in the 36th minute. The lanky attacker headed home on K. Lalthathanga’s corner kick for his fourth goal in three games after some good work from striker Kim and playmaker Quero earned the set-piece.

The goal gave DSK Shivajians a much needed confidence boost and they capitalized on the momentum by taking the lead on the stroke of half time. Striker Arif Shaikh created space after a quick one-two with Quero on the edge of the box before drilling a low shot past the Indian Navy custodian.

DSK Shivajians started the second half just like they ended the first – with a goal. Skipper Juan Quero got in the act as he began the move down the middle sending striker Arif clear in the box. The youngster got into space before pulling back for Quero to slot home with ease and make it 3-1 in favour of DSK Shivajians.

While the Pune-side was dominating proceedings, Indian Navy managed to reduce the deficit at the other end at the hour mark. Attacker Hardik Kanojiya controlled a long ball on the edge of the box and took a shot which took a wicked deflection past keeper Rakshit Dagar in the DSK Shivajians’ goal.

Just as it looked like DSK Shivajians would close out the game 3-2, Indian Navy equalized with the last kick of the ball. Having conceded a freekick down outside the box in the third minute of injury time, the DSK Shivajians’ backline failed to clear the danger and Ex-Shivajians striker Mohd. Irshad capitalized to head home the equalizer and end the game 3-3.

DSK Shivajians will now play Minerva FC on 4th September at the Ambedkar Stadium.

Durand Cup: DSK Shivajians FC expect a tough Indian Navy encounter

 

1st September 2016 – Delhi, India – Group leaders DSK Shivajians FC will be up against Indian Navy in a unique first when they square off against the unbeaten defence side in the 128th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi, on Friday.

A victory for the Pune-based club will cement their position at the top of the table in Group A and significantly increase the chances of progressing to the semi-finals.

Playing the tournament for the first time, DSK Shivajians has so far registered two wins out of two. They began their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Sporting Clube de Goa with first half goals from Rohit Kumar and new signing Kim Song Yong ensuring three points in what was a historic first win for the club. The Pune-based club won their second match against Gangtok Himalayan with a similar scoreline, only, this time, it was Rohit Kumar grabbing a first-half brace.

On the other hand, Indian Navy, one of the four defence teams in the completion, has two points from their first two matches, having drawn both. They got their Durand Cup campaign underway with a 1-1 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa.  Following that, they started their encounter brightly against Army Green, the other defence unit in Group-A, only for the latter to equalise in the second half, and hence, shared spoils.

The two clubs will be no strangers to each other, having met each other in the Abhijeet Kadam Football Tournament at Bharatiya Vidyapeeth in Pune, where Indian Navy came out on top. However, a lot has changed at DSK Shivajians Football Club since then, with the club making the jump to I-League and is a much stronger unit that the Navy team would need to match.

Rohit Kumar, who has scored three goals in the opening two matches of Durand Cup, will be hoping to carry on his fine form in front of the goal. On the other hand, Juan Quero is expected to take back the captain’s armband after being rested for the last match. Biaklian Paite is also scheduled to start the game after his impressive all-round showing in the last encounter.

DSK Shivajians will be without Gagandeep Singh, who sustained an ankle injury in the first half of the match against Gangtok Himalayan SC.  Adding up to the worries is the fact that two players, Vanlalremkima and Arif Shaikh have picked up a booking each in the last match.

Dave Rogers, First Team Manager of DSK Shivajians FC, discussing Friday’s match, said: “We will go out and try to win the game in a positive manner, as we do with every game. But, in football, nothing is guaranteed. So, we know it is going to be tough and if we want the three points, then we will have to be at our best. There are no easy games in this tournament, and we will treat Indian Navy with the utmost respect like we treat every team.”

Durand Cup: Army Green stun SC de Goa 2-1

Delhi: Sporting Clube de Goa’s chances to progress in the Durand Cup 2016 was handed a major blow when they went down 2 – 1 in a key encounter against Army Green. Peecee (53′ (P) & 57′) scored both the goals for Army Green while Marcus Mascarenhas (83′) headed in a late consolation goal for Sporting.

The first half witnessed very little action. Both teams resorted to a compact defense giving no space for the opponent forwards to operate. Sporting playing with a 4 – 1 – 4 – 1 formation managed to dominate most of the first half. The midfield combination of Glan Martins & Cajetan Fernandes completed numerous passes contributing a lion share of the possession. Marcus Mascarenhas and Ganesh Thakur made some good runs on either flanks trying to penetrate the Army Green defense and finding their hit man Victorino Fernandes. The Army Green’s defense also had an exceptional day on the pitch clearing almost all of Sportings attempts to reach the nets. The best opportunity of the first half came n the 43rd minute when Victorino beat the off-side trap successfully and made a dash coming head on against the keeper but placed the ball inches wide. The first half ended goalless.

The second half saw Army Green step up the offence. Their attacking play opened up spaces in the Sporting defense allowing their forwards to get into the box. In the 53rd minute Army Green won a penalty after a shot hit Loveday Enyinnaya’s arm. The penalty was converted by Peecee (Jersey No 9). Within 5 minutes Peecee came back to haunt Sporting defense when he found himself at the end of a brilliant cross from the left tapping it in to double the lead for Army Green. The following quarter saw a desperate Sporting throw everything they had trying to sneak one in but Army Green had shut shop with a well organised backline. Late in the 83rd minute Sporting won a free kick which was delivered well by Cajetan Fernandes to find Marcus who slotted a header giving some hope to the Goan side, but a resilient Army defense killed any further chances being created neatly to see off the clock.

Durand Cup:10 MEN MINERVA GO DOWN FIGHTING TO INDIAN NAVY

Minerva Academy FC suffered yet another defeat to a high flying Indian Navy team in its second game at the Durand Cup 2016 at Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi. The Chandigarh based team made 5 changes to its Line up from its previous encounter against Himalyan Gangtok FC, bringing in experienced Gagandeep Singh in the back four to replace Jermanjit who is serving suspension after picking up a red card in the first match. Girik Khosla made way for former India International Clifford Miranda and Midfielder Jaison Vales was replaced by former Dempo SC midfielder Steven Fernandes. U-19 India International Moinuddin started and Guam International Marcus Lopez made his debut in India replacing nigerian striker Victor Amboi.
Indian Navy had the first move in the game with Minerva’s Liberian defender Korhena heading out the danger. The next move saw Marcus swifting past two Indian Navy defenders only for the Indian Navy custodian to flick his shot out. The game continued with fast pace for quite sometime with Minerva dominating the show for the first 20 minutes or so. Indian Navy however managed to settle down and started sharing equal amount of ball possession. Minerva created numerous dangerous attacks in its hunt for a opening goal but forwards, Manandeep and Marcus could not get the ball past the line.
Jersey no. 30 of Indian Navy produced a number of good crosses from the left wing to his fellow strikers but they could not make much of it. In the 30th minute Minerva’s striker Manandeep Singh got the spectators at the edge of their seats when his powerful volley from a 10 yards outside the box narrowly missed the woodwork. Expectations were high from Manandeep (ISL- Kerala Basters fame) but he disappointed by picking up a yellow card in the 32nd minute for pushing and exchanging words with an Indian Navy defender right under the referee’s nose.
The next couple of minutes left the Minervans stunned and the spectators baffled as Minerva conceded two quick goals within a span of 10 minutes shattering the hopes of men in blue from chandigarh. The final nail in the coffin was in the 43rd Minute when Indian Navy scored again, this time from a free kick giving them a upper hand in the game just at the Half-Time and making them the clear favourites in this encounter. The score was 3-0 at half time in Navy’s favour.
The 2nd half saw a couple of substitutions for Minerva as Midfielder Jackson made way for the more experienced  Jaison Vales and Steven Fernandes was replaced by Arshdeep Singh. A couple of minutes later striker Marcus too was substituted by Nigerian forward Victor Amboi. Minerva suffered another major blow in the 60th minute when striker Manandeep Singh was booked again for a harsh tackle and got the marching orders. He will remain suspended from Minerva’s next game also. Minerva AFC were left with 10 men and had no chance of catching up to the 3-0 scoreline, however they managed to hold together their defence and did not concede any more goals in the 2nd half despite being a man down. The match ended with final score of 3-0 in favour of Indian Navy.
The loss caused another major dent to Minerva Academy FC’s Durand Cup final round hopes. Minerva ended up at the bottom of the table for their pool with two matches played but could make a comeback if they win upcoming games.
Minerva next take on Army Green at 4.30 PM at Harbaksh Stadium, New Delhi.

SPORTING TAKE ON ARMY GREEN IN A KEY ENCOUNTER

Sporting Clube de Goa will take on Army Green in their third fixture of Durand Cup 2016 at Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi. Sporting have collected one point from the two matches played and will be hoping pocket full points from the upcoming matches.

Sporting Gaffer speaking to the media said “The ground conditions are very much different here, but we have to make the most of what we have.”
He further added “The boys have been playing some good attacking football, the first match was a narrow loss. The second match we threw away from very good position.” He went on “We have evaluated our mistakes and will make sure that doesn’t happen again. The boys needed sometime to adjust to this conditions and we are hoping we can play to our potential on Thursday.”
Speaking about their chances to progress in the tournament Mateus Costa said “See we would like to focus on this match right now, definitely there is a good chance to progress but we will take one match at a time, stick to our basics. Its simple we have to get maximum points from the remaining matches, our progress is still in our hands.”
Sporting Durand tour however has been injury ridden, losing two of their star players in the opening two matches. The first match saw Seriton Fernandes taken off with a head injury while next match saw the Captain Joyner Lourenco taken off early i the first half with a dislocated shoulder. On the positive note Sporting will be happy with the performance of their striker Victorino Fernandes and defender Loveday Enyinnaya who has been exceptional at the back.
GROUP A STANDINGS– DSK lead the group with 6 points beating Sporting (2-1) & Gangtok Himalyan (2-1), Gangtok Himalyan are placed second with one win against Minerva FC (2 -0) and one loss against DSK, Indian Navy who drew both their matches with a score line of 1 – 1 (Against Sporting & Army Green) are placed third with 2 points while Army Green and Sporting are on fourth and fifth position respectively with a point each, Minerva FC are at the bottom and yet to open their account.

Rohit brace helps DSK Shivajians overcome Gangtok

31st August, 2016 – Delhi, India – DSK Shivajians FC continued their maiden appearance in the 128th Durand Cup after registering a facile 2-1 win over Gangtok Himalayan SC at the Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi on Wednesday.

A first-half double by LFC-DSK Academy graduate Rohit Kumar (5th and 44th minute) enabled DSK Shivajians to log full points. Gangtok Himalayan pulled one back via a penalty kick conversion by Jon Lepcha (78 th minute). The result took DSK Shivajians points tally to six and earned the pole position in Group A.

Manager Dave Rogers began the game making four changes to his playing XI that played in the first match by bringing in goalkeeper Sayak Barai, Shane McFaul, Gagandeep Singh, and Biaklan Paite. The players omitted were Rakshit Dagar, Zohmingliana Ralte, Maan Singh and Juan Quero. The starting XI consisted of seven LFC-DSK Academy graduates.

The team also had a switch in skipper’s role with Kim Song Yong bearing the captain & #39;s band. DSK Shivajians began at a frenetic pace. A couple of all out attacking runs pushed Gangtok Himalayan onto back-foot. First, Paite fell short when Kim played him a through ball and then Gagandeep, running down the flank, earned the first corner-kick of the match, which led to the first strike.

Paite’s delivery in the box from the corner was fumbled by goalkeeper Sukhwinder Singh, which

led to a lurking Rohit pounce onto the opportunity and slot home (1-0).

Two minutes later Paite had his try from close punched away by the ‘keeper.

At the other end, DSK Shivajians had a moment of worry in the 13th minute. John Kane, getting

clear, ended up with his try going over. Midway through the half, DSK Shivajians lost

Gagandeep after a challenge with an opponent left him with a limp. Four minutes

laterGagandeep was substituted, and Surachandra Singh was brought in.

Gangtok Himalayan with the one odd attack into the DSK Shivajians' half hardly tested the

defence. A rebound off the wall following a free-kick was poked gently by Surjit Singh into DSK

keeper Sayak.

A couple of bookings led to Sanjay Chettri (Gangtok) and  Vanlalremkima (DSK Shivajians)

receive yellow cards before DSK Shivajians launched themselves in attack once again through

Arif Shaikh, only to have him breaching the off-side trap.

Gangtok’s Karma Tsweang joined the referees' book after he brought down Surachandra. Two

close moments followed inside the Gangtok Himalayan's box. Surachandra’s stiff try had the

goalkeeper tip the ball over and later, his cross was headed out by Arif.

DSK Shivajians closed out the half with their second strike. Paite, down the flank, delivered a

low cross, which Arif stepped over leaving Rohit clear which he later finished with a low drive

past the keeper (2-0).

On resumption, DSK Shivajians lost out on a glorious opportunity to increase the tally. Kim,

running clear, was brought down resulting in a penalty kick. Kim stepped up, but to his dismay,

the goalkeeper judged well and thus nullified the chance of a possible third goal.

DSK Shivajians, at the other end, survived when custodian was off the line. Sayak, to his luck,

saw an attempt by Jon Lepcha kiss the horizontal and go over. DSK Shivajians stung back, with

Kim finding the custodian in his way from six-yards out.

End to end action prevailed after that with neither team managing to get a clear attempt on

target. As the game moved into the last 15 minutes, Gangtok Himalayan earned a penalty kick

after defender Lalnunsiama brought down an attacker. Lepcha stepped up and sent Sayak the

wrong way to pull one back for the Sikkim team(2-1).

The opponents were growing in confidence following the goal, but it was DSK Shivajians

'keeper who denied Nima Lepcha with a brilliant collection. Deep into the half, Shane McFaul

did well to avert a couple of situations and keep the score favoured with DSK Shivajians.

DSK Shivajians will now play Indian Navy on 2nd September at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi.

TEN MEN MINERVA GO DOWN FIGHTING TO GANGTOK HIMALAYAN IN DURAND CUP DEBUT MATCH

Minerva Academy FC kick started their historic debut Durand Cup campaign against fellow I-League 2nd Division competitors Himalyan Gangtok FC at Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi yesterday. The match ended 2-0 in Gangtok Himalayan’s favour.

The game wasn’t in favour of the Minerva boys who’s average age was 23, an U15 player (Jackson Singh) too was part of starting IX of the young Minervan team.

Gangtok FC first had a taste for a goal in the opening few minutes of the game with foreigner Samuel Kane getting through Minervans Jarmanjit and Akashdeep only to be denied by keeper Arshdeep. Minerva then bounced back in the very next move with striker Victor Amobi missing a one-on-one with the Gangtok goalkeeper Loknath Roy. In the first half an attempt at goal by striker Girik Khosla missed the goal post by inches. The next couple of minutes were a busy time for Gangtok goalkeeper Loknath Roy as he had made a few important saves from Minerva AFC’s strikers Manandeep Singh and Girik Khosla. A dominant 1st half turned out to be a disappointing one when Minerva Defender Jarmanjit was shown a direct red for his tackle on Gangtok’s playmaker Samuel Kane which successfully rewarded his dive inside the box. Minerva’s never say die attitude reflected as they still fought hard with 10 men to break the deadlock, but all attempts were in vain leading to a score line of 0-0 in the first half.

Second Half saw Gangtok Himalayan trying to capitalise on Minerva being down to 10 men. Coach Surinder Singh introduced  India U19 international Moinuddin to replace Girik Khosla and bring in some fresh legs. Winger Akash Sangwan was sent back to fill in the gap created by departure of Jarmanjit. The make shift defence of Minerva managed to keep Gangtok strikers at bay until 65th minute when Akash Sangwan limped off the field with a cramp leaving only 9 Minervans on the field. This is when Bhaichung Bhutia of Gangtok headed in a corner kick to put Gangtok in the lead. Minervans were now rearing for goal and put immense pressure on the Gangtok back four. Substitute Moinuddin displayed fine form of skill by releasing striker Manandeep Singh for some good chances. One such volley landed perfectly for Manandeep just outside the box but the powerful shot just brushed past the bar. The Gangtok players now deployed time wasting tactics to slow the game down and keep the lead but the Minervans were relentless in trying to get one back. The final heartbreak came in the 80th minute when Gangtok Himalayan scored the second goal through Samuel Kane again from a corner kick.  Minervans tried to take on the herculean task , and the last 10 minutes of the game saw striker Victor Amobi replaced with Lago Bei of Ivory Coast to refurbish the Minervan attack, but in vain. The match ended with a final score of 2-0 in Gangtok Himalayan’s favour. The evening was a heartbreak to all Minervans as the team lost 3 crucial points to the lads from Gangtok to whom they have never lost before.

Minerva Academy FC next takes on Indian Navy in another important fixture on 1st September at 4.15pm in Harbaksh Football Stadium, Delhi.

DSK Shivajians FC face Gangtok Himalayan challenge

30th August 2016 – Delhi, India – DSK Shivajians Football Club will be aiming for back-to- back victories when they play their second match in the Durand Cup 2016 against Gangtok Himalayan SC at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. A win would help DSK Shivajians FC get closer to qualify for the knock-outs from Group-A.

DSK Shivajians FC confidence stems from the 2-1 triumph they logged in their opener against Sporting Clube de Goa, courtesy first half goals from Rohit Kumar and Kim Song-Yong. Having set the tone on a winning note, Dave Rogers side will hope to carry forward the same momentum against a side that finished fifth in the 2015-16 I-League Second Division.

Gangtok Himalayan SC, playing their first tournament of the season, is yet to begin their campaign and opens against Minerva FC late Tuesday evening. The first time face-off between the two teams on Wednesday would mean that the Sikkim side will be back on pitch within 24 hours and reason enough for DSK Shivajians FC to exploit.

On the other hand, DSK Shivajians FC Manager Dave Rogers will be delighted to have a full squad at his disposal, with no injuries and suspensions.

Talking about tomorrow’s match, he commented: “Preparations have been going on really well. The squad is gelling together nicely. And after starting the competition with a win, the boys are excited and showing real enthusiasm for our next match, whilst understanding that we must take it one game at a time and showing each of our opponents the utmost respect. We know that the hard work is only just beginning in our journey to progress as a football club for the long term.”

DSK Shivajians FC’s North Korean forward Kim Song-Yong will hope to continue his impressive form in the front of the goal, after having scored two goals in last two matches for the Pune- based club. Meanwhile, captain Juan Quero, who created both the goal scoring opportunities in the Durand Cup opener, will look to add a goal to his increasing number of assists.

DSK Shivajians FC’s young brigade had an impressive outing in the opening match of the tournament, as Liverpool FC International Academy – DSK Shivajians graduate Rohit Kumar earned the distinction of becoming the first scorer in the 128 th edition of the Cup. His fellow academy players, Vanlalremkima and Lalthathanga worked tirelessly through the midfield and the flanks, respectively, to make life tough for their Goan opposition.

The match at the Ambedkar Stadium will kick-off at 4:30pm and will be covered LIVE on www.twitter.com/dskshivajians.

DSK Shivajians beat SC de Goa 2-1 in 2016 Durand Cup opener

 

28th August, 2016 – Pune, India: DSK Shivajians FC registered a historic 2-1 victory over Sporting Clube de Goa in their first-ever appearance in the 128th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi on Sunday.

First-half strikes from midfielder Rohit Kumar (9th minute) and North Korean Kim Song-Young (43rd minute) helped DSK Shivajians FC impress in the inaugural match of the tournament. The Goans pulled one back via striker Victorino Fernandes (63rd minute) in the second half.

The victory gave DSK Shivajians FC three points and helped them open their account in Group-A.

Playing the tournament for the first time, DSK Shivajians FC broke the deadlock early through an intelligent move. Skipper Juan Quero, from the right flank, delivered a ball which Kim left for Rohit. The midfielder utilised the opportunity and hammered the ball in from the edge of the box and lead 1-0.

DSK Shivajians FC restricted the Goans from attacking which resulted in the opponents trying from long distances.

Two minutes before half time, DSK Shivajians FC added another goal. This time again it was skipper Juan Quero’s try from the edge of the box that crashed off the horizontal and fell at Kim’s feet who tapped in past goalkeeper Ravi Kumar from close.

At half time, DSK Shivajians FC led 2-0.

Eighteen minutes after resumption, Sporting Clube de Goa pulled one back. Striker Victorino reached out to the end of the ball sent in by Seriton Fernandes and found way past DSK Shivajians ‘keeper Rakshit Dagar.

Having conceded, DSK Shivajians FC came close in increasing the lead. A foul on DSK Shivajians Maan Singh led to a freekick which Quero took and found Shane McFaul. The delivery was long and good , but Shane’s header on target was held on by the Sporting keeper Ravi Kumar.

At the other end, DSK Shivajians FC ‘keeper Rakshit made a heroic save to deny Sporting Clube de Goa a chance of equalizing when he blocked Victorino’s try from close.

In the closing minutes, DSK Shivajians FC went close again when Surachandra Singh almost had substitute Hitova in the clear, but to his dismay Sporting Clube defender Loveday intercepted the move.

A minute before full time, Sporting Club had a last ditch effort hit the post when Glan Martins’ crashed his free-kick on the vertical.

Minerva Academy FC set to make Durand Cup debut

DELHI: The 128th edition of the Durand Cup kicks off on August 28, with an enthralling Pool A match between Sporting Clube de Goa and DSK Shivajians at Ambedkar Stadium. The 128th Durand tournament has the highest ever prize fund worth Rs 75 lakh owing to newly roped in sponsors. The winning team will get Rs 45 lakh, the runners-up Rs 20 lakh and the losing semi-finalists Rs 5 lakh each. After a brief sojourn in Goa, the Durand football tournament has returned to its original home, Delhi. It was last held here in 2013. In 2014 it was shifted to Goa and last season it was not held. The 128th edition will be held simultaneously at the Ambedkar and Harbaksh Singh Stadiums from August 28 to September 11

Overall, 12 teams, divided into two groups are participating. The top two from each group will reach the knock out semi-finals.

Three I-League first division participants this season are, Sporting Clube de Goa, DSK Shivajians and Aizawl FC (both debutants). Five teams have been roped in from the second division, Dempo SC, Minerva FC, Neroca FC, Gangtok Himalayan and Real Kashmir FC. Except for 2006 Durand champions Dempo, the other four are making their debut. The remaining four teams are from the Services, Army Red, Army Green, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. The pools have been divided as follows:

Pool A: SC De Goa, DSK Shivajian, Minerva AFC, Gangtok Himalayan, Indian Navy & Army Green.
Pool B: Aizawl FC, Dempo SC, Neroca FC, Real Kashmir, Army Red, Indian Air Force.

Minerva AFC have created history by being the first team from Chandigarh to qualify for the main draw of the prestigious Durand Cup and are hopeful of a good showing as they have been undergoing rigorous training for the past few months in preparation for the tournament. This season Minerva has roped in some experienced players to give stability and direction to the team along with the usual crop of talented local youngsters. Clifford Rayes Miranda, Ex India Captain has been commissioned for the Durand cup to step into the leadership role. Other crucial signings include Manandeep Singh of ISL, Kerala Blaster fame; Victor Amobi, Captain of the Nepal Premier League Champions (3 Star Club) and last minute singing of Asian Origin Foreign striker Marcus PJ Lopez of Guam National Team. Despite being pinned against the best teams of the country, the football world is abuzz with predictions of Minerva AFC as title contenders. The Asian Age recently called Minerva AFC, “The Dark Horse” of the tournament. Head Coach Surinder Singh is happy with the team, “We have put in the hard work and if God is on our side, we will not come back empty handed!”

Minerva AFC 26 Member Squad for Durand Cup:

Arshdeep Singh,  Arshdeep Singh (GK), Kamalpreet Singh, Jarmanjit Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Amandeep Singh, Jaison Vales, Girik Khosla, Harpreet Bedi, Gagandeep Singh, Steven Fernandes, Moinuddin, Akash Sangwan, Korhena A Boakai, Clifford Miranda, Jackson Singh, Victor Amobi, Lago Bei, Shamsher Singh, Manandeep Singh, Marcus PJ Lopez, Sukhjit Singh, Rajan Negi, Jairam, Narendra Vakare, Salman Lateef

FIXTURES OF MINERVA AFC

Minerva AFC vs Gangtok Himalayan at 18.45 hrs at Ambedkar Stadium.
Minerva AFC vs Indian Navy at 16.30 hrs at Harbaksh Stadium.
Minerva AFC vs Army Green at 16.30 hrs at Harbaksh Stadium.
Minerva AFC vs DSK Shivajians at 16.30 hrs at Ambedkar Stadium.
Minerva AFC vs Sporting Club De Goa at 16.30 hrs Ambedkar Stadium.
9th September, 2016 Semi finals.
11th September 2016 Finals.