Defending Champions Mohun Bagan will face a final hurdle in their title defence when the Mariners clash swords against JSW Bengaluru FC in the final of the Hero Federation Cup on Sunday (May 21, 2017). The kick-off for which is slated at IST 7 PM.

In the course of this season, Bagan will have faced Bengaluru FC six times including the Final on Sunday; just days before the Mariners registered a 3-1 win over the Blues in their AFC Cup fixture. However, the last time the two teams clashed in the Hero Federation Cup in a group stage fixture (Group B), Alwyn Geroge’s 12th minute strike was cancelled out by a 50th minute Sony Norde goal as both teams had shared the points.

While Bengaluru FC staved off a late challenge by Aizawl FC to win their semi-final bout by a solitary goal to nil, Mohun Bagan registered an easy 2-0 win over Kingfisher East Bengal to qualify for their second consecutive Hero Federation Cup final.

The threat for JSW Bengaluru FC comes in the form of the Mariner’s attacking quadruple – Sony Norde, Katsumi Yusa, Balwant Singh and Darryl Duffy – all of which have been in scintillating form upfront, cajoling something out of nothing in the final third and all four have registered their names in the goal scoring tally.

In the official pre-final press conference, Alberto Roca was wary of Bagan’s attacking prowess and said, “They (Mohun Bagan) have a good attack and we have a good defence. It is important to have a good balance, but we have to be on our toes as they (Bagan) can punish us with the quality upfront”

“Mohun Bagan are favorites to win the Hero Federation Cup and they (Mohun Bagan) deserve to be in the final”

“For us (Bengaluru FC), it is important to be in the finals of the Hero Fed Cup and tomorrow we have another opportunity to win a trophy and we have to make the most out of it”, Roca added. “I will be a very happy man if we win the final tomorrow

The Blues will be missing the services of talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri, and midfielder Cameron Watson, who is suspended for tomorrow’s final.

However, Mohun Bagan’s Head Coach Sanjoy Sen did not beat around the bush and stated in the official pre-final press conference that, “Mohun Bagan will be looking for nothing less than winning the trophy”

“We have prepared for it and now we are ready to give our best and win the Hero Fed Cup Trophy”, he added.

“They (Bengaluru FC) have also studied our Players, so have we theirs. It is an advantage and a disadvantage of facing a known opponent and since Bengaluru FC are one of the strongest Teams in India, it will be a very competitive final”

“We don’t have any injury concerns, all Players are fit and ready to perform”, quipped Sen when inquired about injury concerns in the squad. 

“It is exciting for everyone in the Bagan camp to be in the final and we are prepared for the final and the final is always special for the Players. We have to give our best to win the trophy for our supporters”, said skipper of Mohun Bagan Katsumi Yusa, sitting beside Sanjoy Sen.

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