Kolkata’s famous Black and White brigade answering to the name of Mohammedan Sporting, will be on the lookout for its first win in the tournament against the Indian Navy Football Team at the Salt Lake Stadium on Friday.
The local side, coached by former India international and club player Mehrajuddin Wadoo, had a confidence-boosting win in the Calcutta Football League following its loss to Mumbai City FC in their Durand Cup opener.
Wadoo will be hoping that key forward Beneston Barretto is back fit, that Argentinian Alexis Gomez starts firing and that Ghanian Prince Opoku can get on to goal scoring form.
The INFT, on the other hand, will be playing its first game in this edition of the tournament.
It will be depending on former Mohun Bagan centre-back Dalraj Singh, to lead the resistance, which will aid players upfront like P.M. Britto and Shreyas V.G. to snatch a win.
Odisha FC up against Rajasthan United
I-League side Rajasthan United FC (RUFC) endured the weather, ground conditions, fan frenzy in the opposite direction and a doughty Bodoland FC side in its first group game, to take home three points.
And those points will come in handy on Friday against a young Odisha FC side, which went down to the Indian Army team in its first, thanks to a Liton Shil strike.
Sharing his thoughts ahead of their must-win game OFC coach Amit Rana said, “While our first match didn’t go our way, we’re staying humble and training well. The upcoming matches are opportunities for us to improve and show our potential. We’re focused on giving our best to qualify.”
Young players like Niraj Kumar in goal, captain Rakesh Oram and Raisen Tudu did show some of that potential and it remains to be seen how they match up to a well-rounded and confident Rajasthan side.
“The win and the clean sheet in the very first game of the season have put us in the right path. Despite the weather conditions the boys have performed so well and it shows what we want to achieve this season. We are very confident of that,” Hardik Bhatt, RUFC’s captain said.
“Regardless of our first result of Odisha’s first result, we know that they are a good young side and will come out full throttle. We are prepared for it. We have been working towards it. The boys are in great shape, the boys look hungry and we want to achieve a lot this season. I think it’s going to be an interesting game,” he added.
Both matches will be live streamed on Sony Ten 2 SD and HD and can be live-streamed on Sony LIV.
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