The Goan side will be contesting for a title after a gap of two years…
The Golden Eagles have won all their Group A matches and are yet to concede a goal. They defeated FC Pune City 1-0 in the semi-finals to book their place in the final. Whereas, Gokulam are also unbeaten in the Group D and defeated Salgaocar FC 1-0 in the last four to seal their berth in the showpiece.
“We are prepared to face our opponents in the final. My boys have given more than 100% in the previous matches and I am very sure that they will continue their form in the final too. For me, this is a preparatory tournament for the Goa Professional League and we want took make a good start to the season,” Dempo coach Naik said.
He further added, “I am thankful to the Goan supporters who were with us throughout the tournament and we will be playing this final for them. We will give our best to win it for all Goans.”
On the other hand, Gokulam will be hoping to make history by becoming the first team from Kerala to win the trophy on Goan soil. Gokulam are most likely to participate in the upcoming I-League and a win in Goa will definitely boost their morale when they start their campaign in the national league.
“I am very happy that we have made it to the final in our first big tournament. My boys have done a tremendous job till now and are eager to continue it in the final. We are contesting for I-League direct entry and the whole nation wants to know who we are and if we win tomorrow then that will really put some weight on our side,” Gokulam coach Bino George said
“This will be Samir’s (Naik) first final as a coach and he will also be eager to win this cup but we have made some plans for them and my boys will give their best to win tomorrow’s final,” he added.
Dempo coach Naik is most likely to go with the same squad against the Kerala side as he fielded in the last match. Wing-back Mario Mascarenhas who missed the last match due to suspension will be available and coach Naik will definitely include him to strengthen his side.
While Gokulam coach George will have almost all his players at his disposal and he is also most likely to go with ta similar starting XI to the one which won against Salgaocar in the last match.
This will be the first encounter between the two sides.
- Dempo Sports Club edge out FC Pune City in AWES Cup showpiece
- Gokulam leave it late to qualify for AWES Cup final
Man to Watch
Beevan D’Mello- Dempo SC: The frontman is getting better match after match. Beevan was brilliant with his performance in the last match against Pune City. He has also scored the winning goal against ONGC FC, which confirmed a semi-final place for the Golden Eagles. If the Goan club is looking for victory in a difficult match against the Yellows, Beevan will have to continue his high-flying performance in attack to break the defence-line of the Kerala club.
Adejala Somide – Gokulam FC: The Nigerian forward’s brilliant form has helped the Kerala club to reach the final. The striker has already scored five goals in his last three matches, which includes a hat-trick against Vasco SC and a goal each in the next two games. The 26-year-old is more dangerous in front of goal and with his pace and control on the ball, He will be the man to stop for the Dempo defence.
Dempo SC: (4-4-2) Agnelo (GK), Mario, Shallum , Mathew, Nickson, Kapil, Nestor, Velito, Yogesh, Beevan, Desmon.
Gokulam FC: (4-4-2) Hemanta (GK), Dibin, Shinu, Godswill, Sushant, Arjun, Rashid, Irshad, Ananthu, Adelaja, Shihad.
The game will not be televised, but you can read the most detailed match report on Khel Now soon after the game.