Preview: Quess East Bengal FC lock horns against Gokulam Kerala FC on Semis of the prestigious Durand Cup!

The Durand Cup has entered its knockout stages. The first match will be played amongst the 16-time title holders Quess East Bengal FC up against the newly formed Gokulam Kerala FC.

TEAM NEWS:  

Quess East Bengal FC:  Team East Bengal were placed in Group A where they faced the likes of Jamshedpur FC reserves, Army Reds and Bengaluru FC reserves. They emerged victorious in all their outings and scored 10 goals in total and conceded a solitary goal in the group stage. However, a matter of fact is, none of the teams in the group stages was as competent as their upcoming counterpart. Neither of them consisted of any foreigners and most of the players were inexperienced. A positive note for East Bengal is that the Red & Gold brigade has no injury concerns. However, the Calcutta giants have to re-think their game planning as they were exposed on their last outing against the young Bengaluru FC side. With the likes of Marcus Joseph countering from the opposition, it is going to be a very tough job for the East Bengal defence to respond. With the likes of Jaime Santos Colado, star performer Bidyashagar Singh and co, East Bengal is likely to do well on the attack.  As the tournament doesn’t allow more than three foreigners, it is to be seen which foreigners gets to play.

ROSTER: 

MANAGER: Alejandro Menendez

PROBABLE XI: 

  1. Lalthuammawia Ralte (GK) 
  2. Borja Gomez Perez (DF)
  3. Samad Ali Mallick (DF) 
  4. Abhishek Ambekar (DF)
  5. Asheer Akhtar (DF) 
  6. Kassim Aidara (MF) 
  7. Tondomba Singh Naorem (MF)
  8. Lalrindika Ralte (C) (MF) 
  9. Pintu Mahata (MF) 
  10. Boithang Haokip (FW) 
  11. Jaime Santos Colado (FW)

KEY PLAYER:

  • K Bidyashagar Singh – Jersey No. 26, Forward. The Manipuri forward is the best finding of East Bengal until now. The 21-year-old has scored 5 goals from 3 matches. He is an East Bengal academy product. Singh made his first appearance into the senior team in the last season of the I-League
  • Jaime Santos Colado –  Jersey No. 8, Forward. The Spanish striker played a vital part in East Bengal’s Durand Cup campaign. He has scored 3 goals from 2 matches. Jaime is lethal from free-kicks and set pieces. The 24-year-old can play a major role in deciding East Bengal’s fate on the decisive day.   

Gokulam Kerala FC: So far, Gokulam Kerala has been walking on air. They faced the likes of TRAU FC, Chennaiyin FC reserves and Chennai City FC ‘B’ on their Group D fixtures. The Malabarians have thumped a total of 11 goals past the three teams and conceded once. Their match-winner, Marcus Joseph is on a roll, as he himself contributed 8 goals for the team. Gokulam looks a very sturdy and robust side to play against. The likes of their foreigners and Indian players make a very good combination of a lethal attacking squad. With the lapse in East Bengal’s defence last day, it is to be seen if Gokulam can capitalize and clinch a historic victory.

ROSTER:

MANAGER: Fernando Varela

PROBABLE XI:

  1. Ubaid CK (GK) 
  2. Naocha Singh (DF)
  3. Andre Ettienne (DF)
  4. Mohamed Irshad (DF) 
  5. Jestin George (DF)
  6. Sebastian Thangmuansang (MF) 
  7. Mohammad Rashid (MF)
  8. Malengamba Meitei (MF)
  9. Shibil Mohammed (MF) 
  10. Marcus Joseph (FW) 
  11. Lalromawia (FW)

KEY PLAYER:

Marcus Joseph: No. 10, Forward. Marcus Joseph has been a star performer for Gokulam Kerala in this Durand Cup. He has a total of 8 goals to his name from 3 matches, scoring two hat tricks and a brace against Chennaiyin FC, TRAU and Indian Air Force respectively. He is the top scorer in the tournament until now.  


MATCH DETAILS: 

DATE: 21st August, Wednesday

TIME: 3:00 PM

VENUE: VYBK Stadium, Kolkata

BROADCAST: Star Sports 3 & Hotstar


AUTHOR’S TAKE: 

The 129th edition of the prestigious Durand Cup is set to witness a nail-biting Semi-Final. Both East Bengal and Gokulam Kerala will give their best efforts to have the last laugh. Keeping in mind the home advantage the Red & Gold brigade has, they might have an edge over the Malabarians.

Prediction: East Bengal 2-1 Gokulam Kerala FC

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