Durand Cup 2019: Real Kashmir through to semis after FC Goa stalemate

Real Kashmir FC confirmed a semis berth after playing out a goalless draw against FC Goa at Kalyan on Saturday.

Danish Farooq was at the end of RKFC's best chances of the match. (File Photo)   -  Getty Images

Real Kashmir FC (RKFC) on Saturday thwarted a strong challenge from a young FC Goa side to ensure a 0-0 draw and advance to the semifinals of the Durand Cup football tournament.

Both sides were locked on seven points apiece after splitting points in their last Group ‘C’ outing at Kalyani, but RKFC made it to the last-four on a better goal difference.

RKFC will meet Group ‘B’ topper Mohun Bagan, while Group ‘A’ leader East Bengal will take on the best Group ‘D’ team Gokulam Kerala FC in an all-I-League affair on Wednesday.

In a virtual quarterfinal, RKFC started on an attacking note but received some solid retaliation from FC Goa. Livewire Liston Colaco provided a fine chance to Lalawmpuia in the 23rd minute but the latter hit the post.

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In the second half, RKFC stepped on the gas as FC Goa had to weather a flurry of attacks, led by Danish Farooq. One of Farooq’s forays was nicely tackled by Goa captain Leander Dcunha in the 54th minute, while another header from a long free-kick was saved by custodian Antonio D’Silva in the 65th minute.

Goa had a last try through Kingsley Fernandes in the 90th minute but the RKFC defence, led by its alert keeper Phurba Lachenpa, foiled the plot.

Indian Super League champion Bengaluru FC finished second in Group A after midfielder Suresh Singh Wangjam converted two penalties in the injury time in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Jamshedpur FC.

The Group ‘D’ match – between bottom-placed teams TRAU FC and Chennaiyin FC – got postponed owing to bad weather conditions on Friday and was abandoned on Saturday due to force majure.

The result assured GKFC, which has six points, of a place in the semifinals. In case Gokulam Kerala loses to TRAU and Indian Air Force (which is second with three points) beats Chennaiyin in their last group matches, GKFC – which earlier defeated IAF 3-0 – will go through on head-to-head result.

 

The results:

Group A: Jamshedpur FC 3 (Vimal 2, Aakash 51, Nabin 80) drew with Bengaluru FC 3 (Leon 45, Suresh 90-p and 95-p)

Group C: Real Kashmir 0 drew with FC Goa 0

Group D: Chennaiyin FC vs TRAU FC match abandoned.