Durand Cup preview: FC Goa faces Bengaluru FC challenge on the way to final

The second semifinal match of the Durand Cup, between FC Goa and Bengaluru FC, has all the ingredients for an interesting contest.

Youngster Muhammed Nemil has been key to FC Goa's attack in the Durand Cup.   -  Twitter @IndSuperLeague

Two of the most consistent sides of Indian Super League (ISL), FC Goa and Bengaluru FC, will be pitting their might to decide the candidate for the other final slot vacant in the 130th edition of Durand Cup football.

The second semifinal match of the prestigious tournament, to be played at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday, has all the ingredients for an interesting contest. The expectations are high especially after the first semifinal where I-League side Mohammedan Sporting got past the third division outfit FC Bengaluru United in the extra time.

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On paper, FC Goa is the strongest side in the tournament having brought a sizeable number of first team players and foreign recruits under Spanish head coach Juan Ferrando. True to its merit Goa has won all its matches so far with considerable ease scoring 14 goals while conceding just two in four matches (including group stage and quarterfinals).

Players like Devendra Murgaokar and Muhammed Nemil Valiyattil have been the key names in Goa attack scoring four goals each so far. Bengaluru FC has preferred to field a young team picking up age-group players from the squad while resting most of the regulars who play the ISL. But despite its reduced strength Bengaluru has performed quite well and has remained an unbeaten side, while winning three out of its four matches.

“There should not be much difference in the approach from the way we have been playing all these games. We just want to stay positive and give our hundred per cent. The only thing is that we have to be careful about the way we have been conceding goals. With Goa, we have to be careful. A team like Goa, it won’t be easy to get back once you concede a goal,” said Bengaluru FC coach, Naushad Moosa.

FC Goa coach, Juan Ferrando spoke about improving the team’s performance, “For us, our focus is to continue to improve like a team, improve in tactical details and position of attack. This is most important for us a side and will be our target tomorrow,” he said.

The match is scheduled for a 6 pm start and will be live streamed on addatimes app. It will also be broadcast live by Sony Sports network on their Sony Ten 2 SD and Sony Ten 2 HD channels.

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