• Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

All to play for in Guwahati and in Kolkata

The Army Green Football Team (AGFT) and the Kerala Blasters (KBFC) go head to head in a must-win game for both, on Matchday 16 of the 131st IndianOil Durand Cup on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. That Group D game at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, will precede yet another must-win Group B clash in Kolkata’s Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK), between ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) and the Indian Navy in the evening. The Blasters will be the only team of the four who will wrap up their Group Stage engagements on the day.

A win for the second spot

A win for either KBFC or AGFT on Wednesday will ensure second spot at the very least in Group D for them, given Odisha FC with nine points from three games have already qualified and even a point against the Greens in their final game will ensure they remain on top of the group.

The Greens did put it across well against NorthEast United in their first outing, but looked a bit lacklustre in their second drawn game against Sudeva. The young KBFC side however have been improving with every game and even gave the most impressive Odisha a run for their money.

The eagerness and keenness of the KBFC youngsters like the talented Gaurav Kankonkar, Md. Ajsal, Md. Azhar and Aimen might just match-up to the PC Lallawmkima led AGFT team at this stage of the tournament.

Must-win for ATK Mohun Bagan and Indian Navy

A defeat in Kolkata’s KBK for either ATK Mohun Bagan or the Indian Navy will mean curtains for both in the tournament. While ATKMB play their final group game, the Sailor men will finish against Rajasthan United FC (RUFC) on 5th September. ATKMB go into the game with four points from three games while the Navy have managed a point from their two engagements so far.

A win take ATKMB to seven points and they have to then await the result of the RUFC-Navy game to find out whether they make it through. On the other hand, the Navy can also make it to the knockouts with two wins in their final two games.

On form, quality of attack and particularly after a win against their arch-rivals in the Kolkata derby, ATKMB do look overwhelming favourites to put it across this one, but if the Navy can get a couple of their key injured players back, they have the potential to give a good fight to any side.

Source- Indian Army
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee

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