Durand Cup 2021 : Bengaluru United and Goa go top

FC Bengaluru United
Image Credits:- FC Bengaluru United

Bengaluru United finish as Group A winners whereas FC Goa get their second consecutive win in the Durand Cup. The former defeated in-form I-League side Mohammedan SC 2-0 while the latter escaped with a narrow 2-1 win against another I-League side Sudeva Delhi FC.

Thokchom James Singh and Luka Majcen were the goalscorers for the Bengaluru club. On the other hand, William Pauliankhum’s late penalty goal wasn’t enough after goals from Muhammed Nemil and Jorge Ortiz of FC Goa.

The Gaurs could finish as Group B winners if they win against Jamshedpur FC on 17th September.

Bengaluru United Group A Champions and Goa focused on their Durand Cup campaign

Bengaluru United got themselves a well-deserved win against high scoring Mohammedan Sporting Club. Players found it difficult to hit the ball due to heavy rains.

However, despite the tough conditions, the I-League 2nd division side came on top against the hosts. It was an even contest until the 64th minute when Thokchom Singh finally broke the deadlock. An expert header from a well-taken corner did the trick for the Southern side, who recently won the WFS Award for Best Internationalization Strategy alongside partner club Sevilla.

Following the opener, the match intensity rose to the maximum and anything could have happened. However, the visitors sealed the victory with a penalty in the 95th minute. Slovenian forward Luka Majcen effortlessly converted the penalty to maintain his team’s 100 percent record.

Whereas, the other match between Indian Air Force and CRPF was abandoned due to the unplayable conditions. Despite the loss, Mohammedan becomes the second team to qualify to the quarterfinals after finishing 2nd in group A.

Goa cling on to a 2-1 victory despite losing Ortiz to an injury

FC Goa picked up two wins from their two matches so far after a spirited performance against Sudeva Delhi FC. Mohammed Nemil has been one of the emerging talents for the Gaurs.

Nemil, who was impressive in the first match against Army Green, scored an outrageous goal against the team from Delhi. It was the perfect way to finish the first half and the 19-year-old offers a lot of promise.

Similar to the previously mentioned match, the game was played under tough conditions due to heavy rains. In the second half, the team from Capital city were determined to grab an equalizer but to no avail. Additionally, they also suffered a setback after first choice goalkeeper Sachin Jha was injured.

Romario Jesuraj and Seriton Fernandez were the other players who were impressive in the following stages. The ISL side increased their lead after super sub Jorge Ortiz scored in the 80th minute beating substitute goalie Legend Singh.

However, the Spaniard got injured in the process after a mistimed tackle from a Sudeva FC defender. The injury looks serious and Ortiz might be not playing any more matches in this competition. The lead was decreased to within one after a foul on Shubho Paul inside the penalty box and Willaim Pauliankhum made it 2-1.

As a result, Sudeva have now lost both their matches in Group B. Earlier, they lost 1-0 to Jamshedpur FC. They need to win a must-win match against Army Green on 17th September. Also, they will have a chance of qualification if Goa wins against Jamshedpur. Whereas, Goa have already made it to the knockouts.

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