Five Hero ISL clubs in 2021 Durand Cup fray; Kerala Blasters FC & Hyderabad FC making debut
As many as five Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) teams are featuring in the 2021 Durand Cup – Asia’s oldest football tournament – starting from September 5 in Kolkata.
These five teams are six-time Hero ISL semi-finalists FC Goa, 2018-19 champions Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC, Hyderabad FC and two-time finalists Kerala Blasters FC – the last two teams are participating in the competition for the first time in their history.
The 130th edition of the Durand Cup gives these teams a very good opportunity to get some quality match practice and test out their youngsters ahead of the 2021-22 Hero ISL.
In all, 16 teams, divided across four groups, are featuring in the tournament. FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC are in Group B, while Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC are in Group C. Hyderabad FC find themselves in Group D.
“We are very pleased to participate in this year’s Durand Cup. Hope that we will have good games ahead as it is very important to play games in this part of pre-season. The tournament format could be an extra motivation for our players because we like to compete,” said Ivan Vukomanovic, head coach of Kerala Blasters FC ahead of the tournament.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals. The final of the tournament will be played next month on October 3. Kerala Blasters FC, FC Goa, Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC have already announced their squads for the competition.
FC Goa and Kerala Blasters FC, in particular, have many big names in their ranks such as Jorge Ortiz, Rahul KP, Adrian Luna, Chencho Gyeltshen, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Sahal Abdul Samad and Brandon Fernandes – to name but a few. Let’s check out the squads for Kerala Blasters FC, FC Goa, Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC and the group schedule in full here.
Kerala Blasters FC:
Goalkeepers: Albino Gomes, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Sachin Suresh
Defenders: Bijoy V, Enes Sipovic, Jessel Carneiro, Abdul Hakku, Sanjeev Stalin, Hormipam Ruivah, Shahajas Thekkan, Denechandra Meitei, Sandeep Singh
Midfielders: Jeakson Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul KP, Adrian Luna, Sukham Yoihenba Meitei, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Gaurav K, Harmanjot Khabra, Givson Singh, Ayush Adhikari, Prasanth K, Seityasen Singh, Vincy Barretto, Anil Gaonkar
Forwards: Jorge Pereyra Diaz, V S Sreekuttan, Chencho Gyeltshen
Goalkeepers: Naveen Kumar, Hrithik Tiwari, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem
Defenders: Leander D’Cunha, Saviour Gama, Sanson Pereira, Kunal Kundaikar, Manushawn Fernandes, Lalmangaihsanga (Papuia), Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, Aibanbha Dohling, Mohamed Ali
Midfielders: Edu Bedia (c), Brison Fernandes, Md. Nemil, Alberto Noguera, Princeton Rebello, Danstan Fernandes, Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Redeem Tlang, Nongdamba Naorem, Glan Martins, Brandon Fernandes, Makan Winkle Chote, Christy Davis
Forwards: Devendra Murgaokar, Jorge Ortiz, Delton Colaco
Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Aman Kumar Sahani, Abhinav Mulagada
Defenders: Pritam Singh, Amritpal Singh, Muhammed Rafi, Goutam Saikhom, Muhammad Safique Ahmed, Dipu Halder, Paogoumang Singson
Midfielders: Abdul Rabeeh, Mark Zothanpuia, Lalchungnunga Chhangte, R Swapana Jeevan RT, Koustav Dutta, Crespo Vanlalhriatpuia, Lalrintluanga, Suhit Chhetry, Amosa Lalnundanga, Rohlupuia
Forwards: Ishan Dey, Arun Kabrabam
Goalkeepers: Niraj Kumar, Vishal Yadav, Arman Tamang, Mohit Singh Dhami
Defenders: Sandip Mandi, Rishi, Piush Thakuri, Kojam Beyong, Saphaba Singh Telem, Aryan Sonowal, Gopal Hembrom, Raj Mukhi, Ankit Toppo
Midfielders: Jitendra Singh, Bhupender Singh, Anand Kumar, Keisam Angelo Singh, Nayan Tamang, Robin Das, Advait Sumbly, Hijam Lenin Singh, Khullakpam Sakir Ali, Sorokhaibam Nongpoknganba Meitei, Phijam Vikash Singh, Deepak Hansda
Forwards: Nikhil Barla, Lalruatmawia
Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa in Group B:
September 6: Jamshedpur FC vs Sudeva Delhi FC
September 7: FC Goa vs Army Green
September 10: Jamshedpur FC vs Army Green
September 13: FC Goa vs Sudeva Delhi FC
September 17: Jamshedpur FC vs FC Goa
Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC in Group C:
September 11: Kerala Blasters FC vs Indian Navy
September 15: Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
September 18: Bengaluru FC vs Delhi FC
September 21: Bengaluru FC vs Indian Navy
September 21: Kerala Blasters FC vs Delhi FC
Hyderabad FC in Group D:
September 12: Hyderabad FC vs Assam Rifles
September 16: Hyderabad FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC
September 19: Hyderabad FC vs Army Red
*All matches above will be played from 3 pm IST onwards