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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, Delhi FC lock horns with Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC take on Indian Navy in two separate Group C clashes. Each of these four teams are still in contention of qualifying to the knock-outs.
I am your host, Hari Thoyakkat and today, I will be keeping you company with updates from the Delhi FC – Kerala Blasters face-off. My friend Joseph Biswas will also chip in, with updates from the BFC – Navy clash.
Delhi FC vs Kerala Blasters, Bengaluru FC vs Indian Navy: build-up
Bengaluru FC are relatively better placed with 4 points from two games, courtesy a win and a draw. Even a draw in the next game will see them through. Indian Navy are on three points and have a more difficult task at hand.
The leaders of this group will clash with Army Green in the Durand Cup 2021 quarter finals while the other team to go through will have to face FC Goa.
Ahead of the game against BFC, team coach of Indian Navy football team, Abhilash Vasantha spoke about the pressure of playing an ISL side in a crucial game. “It is not about ISL or I-League team. We are playing with Bengaluru FC. They are a good side with very young talents and some senior squad members. They have played both their games very well. We are also a good side with many ISL & I-League players. If we score early, the game will change. We worked very well in our finishing. Let’s hope for the best,” he said.
“At Bengaluru FC, we just believe in playing good football and trying to win games. It’s not only about points or something. It is all about playing good football. So, I don’t want to put any pressure on the boys, for a draw or for a win. It’s just that we go there and play good football, results will come,” said Naushad Moosa, the Blues’ coach.
Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic hasn’t been happy about the training time his side has been getting. On Monday, he revealed that the Kochi outfit trained in just five out of the last 14 days.
He also said that the team are still in its pre-season phase, and that preparations are going on keeping in mind the Indian Super League (ISL) season which is set to begin on November 19.