CUTTACK: Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC will be vying to clich their first silverware of the season when they lock horns in the final of the 2016/17 Federation Cup on Sunday at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Orissa.
After two weeks of captivating action, the stage is set for a classic final as both teams are aiming to cap a remarkable campaign by winning the title.
This will be the sixth meeting between these two teams in past three months. Ironically, these two even faced off three days prior to the final in an AFC Cup clash at Kolkata with Mohun Bagan coming out victorious 3-1.
Record 14 times Federation Cup champions Mohun Bagan who are also defending their crown, go into the match as favourites after notching a resounding 2-0 win over arch rivals East Bengal in the semifinal. However, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen don’t feel the same way as the 56-year-old knows they cannot afford to take anything for granted.
“The match against East Bengal is past, whatever happend before will count for little if we can’t win the title,” said Sen.
“We have a lot of respect for Bengaluru FC but we are ready to face them. We need to keep our composure and I am positive that the players will rise to the occasion,” he added.
Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen chose to rest several regular starers in Sony Norde, Anas Edathodika, Sehnaj Singh, Debjit Majumder, Pritam Kotal, Subhasish Bose, Shouvik Chakraborty and Darryl Duffy in the win against Bengaluru FC midweek, in a bid to keep them fresh for Sunday and all of them will be handed starts in the final.
Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, entered the final after beating recently crowned I-League champions Aizawl FC 1-0 in the semifinal and will be chasing their second title in three years.
Coach Albert Roca made it clear that he would be expecting a challenging encounter with Mohun Bagan but he will not be dwelling on the result from their last meeting on Wednesday.
“When the sides met last time we created more scoring chances but Mohun Bagan were more efficient with theirs and thus carried the day. Final will be a whole different game. My players are up for the task and they’re ready to go and I believe we have what it takes to win.” the Spanish coach said.
Going into the game Bengaluru FC will miss the service of their talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri who limped out in their last Federation Cup Group B game against Mohun Bagan and also missed the semi-final. Meanwhile, Cameron Watson, who scored the winner against Aizawl FC, would also miss the final.
However, the likes of Amrinder Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Sandesh Jhingan, Juanan Gonzalez, Lenny Rodrigues, Udanta Singh, John Johnson and Harmanjot Khabra who did not featured in the AFC Cup game will be back in the side.
Therefor, it promises to be a very absorbing game of football come tomorrow and it’s one of those games where the finest details will surely decide the final outcome for the match.The match against East Bengal is past, whatever happend before will count for little if we can