Watford take on Volyn Lutsk in battle to enter semis

The Under-21 side of English Premier League’s Watford takes on Volyn Lutsk of Ukraine in the last Group A match at the Mahindra & Mahindra Sait Nagjee football tournament at the Corporation Stadium here on Monday. This encounter will decide who will join Atletico Paranaense in the semifinals from this group.

Volyn Lutsk (represented by Sergii Loginov, in white) drew 2-2 with Atletico Paranaense in its previous match at the Sait Nagjee International tournament.   -  K. Ragesh

The Under-21 side of English Premier League’s Watford takes on Volyn Lutsk of Ukraine in the last Group A match at the Mahindra & Mahindra Sait Nagjee football tournament at the Corporation Stadium here on Monday. This encounter will decide who will join Atletico Paranaense in the semifinals from this group. The Brazilians, with seven points, have topped the pool.

“We were a bit unlucky in both of our previous games, against Paranaense and Rapid Bucharest,” Volyn’s captain Sergey Kravchenko said. “We could only draw despite playing very well.”

While Volyn has come here with its senior team, Watford’s is its Under-21 side. “Yes, Volyn’s players are more experienced and physically stronger,” admitted Watford’s goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlain. “But, we feel we could do well against then and thus remain in what has been an excellent tournament.”

Watford needs only a draw to qualify for the knock-out stage, while it is a must-win situation for the Ukrainians. “But we definitely are not going to play only for a draw,” said Chamberlain. “Such a tactic could easily backfire.”

Volyn’s goalkeeping coach Oleksandr Chaban said the tournament had proved a great exposure for his players. “The overall standard has been very good,” he said. “The goalkeeping, too, has been of top quality.”