Durand Cup 2022: NEUFC, SDFC aim for first win in final outing; BFC eye top spot in their battle against Mohammedan SC

Winless NorthEast United FC and Sudeva Delhi go up against each other in a bid to end their Durand Cup campaign with a win while Bengaluru FC and Mohammedan SC fight for the top spot with an aim to enter the knockout stages while being unbeaten.

NorthEast United FC vs Sudeva Delhi FC (3pm IST)

Both sides haven’t got off to the right start and are still searching for the three points in their final game of the Durand Cup at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday.

The Highlanders haven’t found their rhythm and have been on a losing streak right from the start of the competition, with their last match ending in 0-3 defeat against Kerala Blasters FC. They find themselves on the bottom of the points table and a win against the I-League side can help them improve their position.

Sudeva Delhi FC, on the contrary, have registered two points out of nine in their three outings and will give it their all to end their campaign with a win.

While both teams are out of the competition as Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC have already managed qualification to the quarterfinals after booking the top two spots, the contest will be a test of their pride and morale.

NorthEast United FC’s match against Sudeva Delhi FC is scheduled for 3pm IST and will be telecasted live on Sports18 and Sports18HD, with live streaming available on Voot Select.

Bengaluru FC vs Mohammedan SC (6pm IST)

Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson said that his side would aim to finish with three points in their Group A encounter of the Durand Cup against Mohammedan SC at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday. The Blues, who qualified for the quarterfinal of the competition with a 2-2 draw against FC Goa on Tuesday, have seven points from three games while Mohammedan have nine.

“I’ve said from day one of the competition that we want to finish top of the group and win as many matches as possible. If anything, it gives us more motivation to win the next game again because of the draw against FC Goa. We want to build that winning mentality within the team, and that hasn’t changed,” said Grayson ahead of the encounter.

Mohammedan began their campaign with a 3-1 win over FC Goa, before a convincing 3-0 defeat of Jamshedpur FC. Andrey Chernyshov’s side kept their all-win record intact with a 2-0 win over Indian Air Force FT. Striker Faslu Rahman is the Kolkata side’s top scorer in the tournament with two goals, while Blues’ skipper Sunil Chhetri has three goals to his name.

“I’ve watched Mohammedan in action a couple of times at the stadium and I’m aware that they’re a local side. I’m sure there will be a good atmosphere with a big crowd, so we know it’s going to be a tough game for us. But it’s another one that we’re looking forward to and another step in terms of our development as a group. Overall, it’s another good competitive game for us,” added Grayson.

Bengaluru welcomed Spaniard Javi Hernandez, who made his debut off the bench on Tuesday, along with Jayesh Rane, who also made a return from a brief spell on the sidelines. Grayson confirmed that the Blues are assessing the fitness of Congolese striker Prince Ibara, who picked up an injury against FC Goa and his inclusion in the squad will be a late call.

“Javi and Jayesh responded well from being out injured and got some time on the pitch last time. Prince got injured, which wasn’t ideal. It’s a muscle injury and we’re not sure about how long he will need. We’re hopeful of having him back in the squad as soon as possible,” added Grayson.

Bengaluru FC’s match against Mohammedan SC is scheduled for 6pm IST and will be telecasted live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD, with live streaming available on Voot Select.

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