At the end of what has been a tremendous campaign for both teams, Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC and Juan Ferrando’s ATK Mohun Bagan are all set for a playoff clash for a spot in the preliminary round of the AFC Cup.
The match is scheduled for Wednesday, May 3, at the EMS Corporate Stadium in Kozhikode in what will be the final game of the top-flight Indian domestic football calendar for the 2022-23 season.
The Mariners managed to pip Hyderabad for a place in the Indian Super League final earlier this season on penalties, with both legs ending goalless. The two teams also won a game a piece in the regular season, leaving this clash right in the balance.
Ferrando’s men rode on the form of Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous in attack while Vishal Kaith has been impossible to beat at the other end. The likes of Manvir Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan and Liston Colaco are also danger men, while Carl McHugh could yet be a game changer.
Speaking to the media ahead of this clash, HFC Head Coach Manolo Marquez said “This is a clash between two of the best defensive sides in the country. I think both teams know each other very well. They have slightly tweaked their style this season and have been more compact in defense.”
Coach Manolo believes that it will be tough for both teams to be at their best. “There was no reason to not be playing this game a week earlier, with both teams out of the Super Cup. But I think all the players from both sides are professionals and have been training really hard for all these days,” said Manolo.
Hyderabad will be without the services of both their first choice shot-stoppers Laxmikant Kattimani (injury) and Gurmeet Singh (suspension) but the Head Coach will hope that his side has what it takes to hold the Mariners.
This is the ninth time Manolo Marquez will face the Kolkata giants since moving to India and he will hope to end this season on a positive note.
The playoff will kick off at 7:00 pm IST on Wednesday and will be telecasted live on Sony Sports 2 with live streaming on Fancode.
- RCB vs UPW Live Score, WPL 2024: Healy departs early as Warriorz chase 158
- Sri Lanka T20 skipper Wanindu Hasaranga gets two-match ban for abusing umpire
- Pune Challenger 2024: Vacherot storms into final with a comeback win against Sweeny
- Indian sports wrap, February 24
- ISL 2023-24: Injury-hit Kerala Blasters hosts FC Goa as both teams look to regain winning touch