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02:30 PM Hello and welcome to Khel Now’s live coverage of Durand Cup 2021. With the group stages now slowing drawing to its end, teams are fighting to secure a berth in the quarter-finals. In today’s games, Army Red play Hyderabad FC and Assam Rifles take on Gokulam Kerala in two Group D clashes. Barring the Rifles, all the other three teams are still in contention of qualifying to the knock-outs.
I am your host, Yash Pratap Singh and today, I will be keeping you company with updates from the Assam Rifles-Gokulam Kerala face-off. My friend Hari Thoyakkat will also chip in, with updates from the Army Red-HFC clash.
Army Red vs Hyderabad FC: build-up
A win will ensure either team’s passage to the knockout stages of the iconic tournament. The match will be LIVE streamed on the Addatimes app from 3 pm IST.
Hyderabad FC has three points from two matches so far, courtesy a win against Assam Rifles and a loss against Gokulam Kerala in their last game. The Reds are relatively better placed with four points from as many games. They just need to ensure they do not lose, to qualify.
Speaking ahead of the game, Hyderabad FC’s coach Shameel Chembakath spoke about the importance of this match and said, “Indeed it is a crucial match for us. We will try our best as this is our final chance to qualify. I am very impressed about my players’ performance. We’ll be moving with the same spirit and try our best to get further up the pitch. We will try to return to our winning ways to secure 3 points. We are all in this together.”
He also shared his thoughts on the Army Red team and added, “They are very strong and well drilled. One of the best team in the group. I believe, they have been playing together for quite some years. It makes a lot of difference.”
Army Red’s coach Anustup Sarkar also expressed his thoughts and discussed if playing against an ISL side adds to the pressure. He said,” After facing the full squad of GKFC we are confident to face any team and name may be Hyderabad FC but as we have seen it’s not their ISL side. We will go for a win.”
Assam Rifles vs Gokulam Kerala: build-up
Gokulam Kerala, who are also currently on 4 points will play in another deciding match, against Assam Rifles at the Kalyani Stadium.
Gokulam Kerala sit at the 2nd spot in Group D and are tied on points with table toppers Army Red with 4 points. The Malabarians need nothing less than 3 points against Assam Rifles to secure a knock-out stage berth.
Assam Rifles on the other hand will showcase a fight for pride as they find themselves at the bottom of the table and are assured a last place finish.