DURAND CUP

Durand Cup 2021: Indian Navy seal 2-1 win to shock Delhi FC

Luis Enrique

Indian Navy are the first regimental side to register a win this season defeating Delhi FC by a margin of 2-1 in Durand Cup. Williz Plaza opened the scoring for Delhi but goals from Shreyas V and Dalraj Singh completed the turnaround.

Navy have put up an impressive performance while their fellow teams Indian Air Force, Army Green and CRPF have been on the losing end. It would have been a dream start for them and would be facing debutants Kerala Blasters on 11th September.

Whereas, Delhi FC would be facing Bengaluru FC on 18th September. Group C promises to be one of the most interesting groups in Durand Cup.

Indian Navy pull off a surprise against Delhi in Durand Cup

Delhi FC were coming to the tournament with full strength and included one of their key players -Williz Plaza. The 34-year-old Trinidad and Tobago centre-forward didn’t take much time to create an impact.

Plaza scored the opening goal in the 21st minute assisted by another overseas recruit Dawda Ceesay. However, the joy didn’t last long as the Sailors fought back with a goal from Shreyas within five minutes. It was the perfect reaction by the regimental team after going behind.

Navy were surely the better side in the first half offensively as well as defensively. Plaza was creating problems upfront but the opponents were dealing well with the pace.

In the second half, it was an even affair and the intensity got better. Delhi FC were pushing hard to score the winning goal but failed to do so. Their best opportunity came in the 82nd minute but centre-back Dalraj Singh was there to clear it.

Finally, the comeback was completed as the Navy centre-back Dalraj scoring a free header resulting from a corner. He was awarded the Man of the Match trophy after an all-round performance. After receiving the honour, he said,

“The coach used to make us practice these set-pieces all the time and also told us how to play in short-passes given they had deep back-four. I think following his plans helped and we got the result.”

After a frustrating loss, Delhi FC head coach Yan Law said,

“We have tough games against ISL sides Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters coming up and we need to definitely improve in all departments if we have to get the results our way.”

On the other hand, Indian Navy head coach Abilash Nair was ecstatic about the victory and praised his team. He said,

“I am very happy because our boys played to the plan and followed all instructions which is why we got the result despite losing two players to injury at the last moment. We will look to win all games.”

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