• Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

Mohammedan Sporting look to seal knockout berth against Indian Air Force, NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters search for first win

 Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting (MDSP), the first ever Indian winners of the tournament and runners-up from last year, will look to seal a berth in the knockouts of the 131st Durand Cup, when they come up against the Indian Air Force Football Team (IAFFT) in a Group A clash at the Kishore Bharati Stadium on Saturday afternoon. That game on Matchday 12 will be followed by a clash at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium between NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) and the Kerala Blasters, two sides still in search for their first win after two completed games.

Mohammedan flying higher than Indian Air Force

Last year’s runners-up Mohammedan Sporting are actually flying higher than their Saturday opponents with two fluent wins over FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC in their opening games. Russian coach Andrei Chernyshov has been around with the club for a while now and has built a well-drilled all bases covered unit around Trinidadian Marcus Joseph, the undisputed talisman in the squad.

Marcus scored one in the first game against Goa and created two in the second against Jamshedpur, to reiterate his worth to the side. MDSP have also displayed admirable finishing skills and opportunism in front of goal, something that can be said about very few teams in the tournament.

The Airmen will be surely up against it and the loss in particular to a young Goa side will hurt. They have talent up front however in players like Aqib and Prabhjot and will do well to play for pride given the top two now looks like a mountain to climb.

Kerala Blasters ahead of NorthEast United

The Group D evening game in Guwahati between the Kerala Blasters and NEUFC, has the former ahead on points thus far. The Blasters drew against Sudeva and went down to the Odhisa, while NEUFC were defeated soundly in both their games. Both teams have scored once but NEUFC have conceded nine to the Blasters three.

The above and evidence on the field does suggest that the Blasters are a sharper and more fighting unit, but NEUFC did well to come back from a potentially deflating 0-6 loss to Odhisa to show fight in their second game and also scored in the end, so they will take heart from that.

And from the fact that both are young and relatively inexperienced units although even there the Blasters have a slight edge. They will surely be playing for pride and avoid being wooden spooners in the group, so we can expect a competitive game of football.

Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee 
source-Indian Army

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