On yet another rainy afternoon in Assam, Hyderabad FC registered their first win of the 2023-24 season when they beat Tribhuvan Army FC 3-0 in an entertaining Durand Cup clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, in Guwahati, on Tuesday.

Aaren D’Silva (16’, 24’ & 69’) scored a perfect hat-trick as HFC registered their first win of their Durand Cup campaign. This win saw HFC finish in second place in Group E, with four points from three games.

Hyderabad FC, who set out with a similar team to the first two games of the competition, broke the deadlock after Aaren converted a superb cross from the left, put in by Ramhlunchhunga, who continued his fine form at the start of this season.

Mohammad Yasir played the HFC striker through on goal just minutes later as HFC doubled their lead in quick time. Nim Dorjee, who was impeccable all night, started the move with a steal high up and Aaren finished it off in style, lifting it over the keeper to make it 2-0 for his side.

Gurmeet Singh was called upon a couple of times while Chinglensana Konsham, Manoj Mohammad and the young Laldanmawia made sure that he was not tested too vigorously.

The midfield of Mark Zothanpuia and Hitesh Sharma battled on right till the end to constantly keep the Nawabs on top in the game before Aaren made it three in the 69th minute.

Yasir’s cross field ball found Aaren in space, whose cut in and finish was just too good for the Nepal-based team.

The Goan striker became the first Indian to score a hat-trick for HFC, while also becoming just the second player in the history of the club to score a perfect hat-trick, writing his name in the history books.

Robin Yadav, Lalpekhlua on target as Bengaluru FC see off Gokulam Kerala FC

Bengaluru FC capped off their Durand Cup 2023 group stage campaign with an impressive win as they got the better of Gokulam Kerala FC 2-0 at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Tuesday.

The Blues netted both their goals in the second half with strikes from Robin Yadav (57’) and Lalpekhlua (89’). With the result, Bengaluru FC confirmed a second-place finish in Group C after collecting five points across three games and remain the only side in their group to remain unbeaten.

The opening half turned out to be cagey with very few chances for both teams. Gokulam Kerala FC midfielder Akhil Praveen came close to giving his side the lead during the 26th minute, but fired his header over the crossbar.

Gokulam Kerala FC started strong in the second half, but conceded first after a set piece. Yadav stepped up to take the free-kick and his delivery hit the underside of the crossbar, before making its way into the back of the net.

Bengaluru FC continued their push for another goal and Lalpekhlua finally put the game to bed at the death. The substitute latched on to a squared pass from Monirul Molla and tapped home from close range to make it 2-0.

In the end, it was a hard-fought win for Bibiano Fernandes’ side, who ensured a smooth finish to their campaign by beating the Group C toppers.