The 131st Durand Cup reaches Matchday 8 on Tuesday and features Odhisa FC (OFC) in a Group D clash against the Kerala Blasters at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium in Guwahati, followed by Bengaluru FC (BFC) taking on the Indian Air Force in a Group A match-up at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK) in Kolkata. Both BFC and OFC will be seeking their second win in the tournament while their opponents will be looking for their first.
OFC is supreme form
The Odhisa FC side looked so good in their first game against NorthEast United that it gave the impression that they were scoring at will. They powered six past the Highlanders, three each in two separate brief spans in either half and had five different scorers, dominating with consummate ease. The combination of Jerry, Nandhakumar and Pedro Martin upfront worked wonderfully well in tandem and those like Dieogo Mauricio and Thoiba Singh who came off the bench were looked hungry. Spanish gaffer Josep Gombau seemed to have all bases covered and has put together an efficient and lethal unit.
The young Blasters side therefore will have their task cut out as the Tomasz Tchorz coached side, although having done extremely well to come out of their first Sudeva game with a point, were certainly under the cosh for most parts.
BFC need to be wary of Indian Air Force
In the Group A game in the evening the Sunil Chhetri led Bengaluru will have to be a bit more wary against an Indian Air Force side which is certainly more capable than their 0-1 reverse against FC Goa earlier in the tournament would suggest.
The Airmen probably found their self-belief in the last 10 minutes of that game and if that is anything to go by, players like Md. Aqib and Prabhjot Singh, who came on later as substitutes, can give the Bengaluru defence reasons to worry.
That defence would miss Hira Mondal, who picked up a red in BFC’s first game and coach Simon Grayson would certainly demand more discipline from his back line.
However with Chhetri looking eager and talents like Leon Augustine up front, it will be a major upset with BFC do not come back with three points from the game.
Source: Indian Army
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee