Durand Cup 2022 | FC Goa take on Indian Air Force, Sudeva Delhi up against Kerala Blasters
FC Goa will look to up the ante in their upcoming fixture against Indian Air Force Football Team on Friday following a defeat against Mohammedan SC in their opening game of the Durand Cup on Friday. Cardozo’s men are now last in the table and will be seeking those three points to move forward.
Indian Air Force, on the other hand, play their opening fixture of the tournament and would want to capitalise on the Gaurs’ defeat. This will also be the IAF Football Team’s first match of the tournament. In Durand Cup 2021, they finished third in their group with one point from three matches.
As FC Goa are yet to open their account in terms of points in Group A at the tournament, the equation is quite simple - win each of their remaining matches to ensure qualification to the knockout stages. This is exactly what the young Gaurs will try to do come Friday, when they lock horns with the Indian Air Force Football Team.
“The players are ready and we have been training well, in a bid to put the defeat against Mohammedan SC behind us,” FC Goa head coach Deggie Cardozo said on Thursday.
“Of course, the effort was there but the result (against Mohammedan) was not in our favour. No more thinking about it. Our focus is completely on ourselves and what we can do.
“The top objective remains to try to win every game we compete in. We are still on course to do that. A few individual mistakes cost us on Tuesday, hence we have worked on improving communication between the players. We also have confidence in our ability to play with the ball, and overall we hope to have a good match against the Air Force.”
“As a team, we’re disappointed with how we lost our first match. We know that we could have done better, which is why we’re eager to make amends going forward in the Durand Cup,” Phrangki Buam said.
The winger was one of the bright spots of the FC Goa side that went down fighting against Mohammedan SC, featuring for the full 90 minutes against the I-League outfit. “We created some good chances. Nemil scored a wonderful goal and we did well in defence, especially in the first half. These are the points that we’re looking to build upon as we prepare to face the Indian Air Force,” he added.
Sudeva Delhi takes on Kerala Blasters FC
Both sides will be having their second appearance in the Durand Cup while the first appearance in this year's edition. The two sides will look to kick off their campaign with a win at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday. Sudeva Delhi will feature new faces after having a busy transfer window while the Blasters will be fielding a young squad comprising Muhammed Ajsal who played a key role for the Blasters in the Next Gen Cup amongst others.
With an encounter that has never been played before, Sudeva Delhi and the Blasters will be keen to knock each other off the perch in their very first meeting together. The Tuskers' head coach Tomasz Tchorz, who oversaw his side in the Next Gen Cup, will ensure that a mix of high-energy and talented young players will command the pitch in their opening game.
The I-League side, on the other hand, will be swinging in full power with the likes of Shubho Paul and Abhijit Sarkar in their fray alongside with experienced players such as Souvik Das in the midfield.