Kalinga Super Cup: Kolkata derby to unveil Group A winner, Hyderabad FC face Sreenidi Deccan
Hyderabad FC will face Sreenidi Deccan, while East Bengal FC will lock horns against arch-rival Mohun Bagan SG on Friday.
Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC are poised for a showdown in the decisive Group A winner match in the Kalinga Super Cup. A draw would propel the Red and Gold Brigade into the semi-finals, while the Mariners must secure a victory to progress to the next round.
In the other Group A fixture, Indian Super League (ISL) side Hyderabad FC are set to face Sreenidi Deccan FC. Both teams, having suffered defeats in their opening matches, will now play for pride as they are no longer in contention for the tournament.
Hyderabad FC vs Sreenidi Deccan, 2 PM IST
In the early kick-off on Friday, Hyderabad FC and Sreenidi Deccan will face off at Kalinga Stadium Pitch 1 in Bhubaneswar.
An all-Indian Hyderabad FC side fought bravely in both matches and posed a significant threat to the two Kolkata giants. However, the Yellow and Black went down narrowly on both occasions, conceding late goals in both matches with a 3-2 scoreline against East Bengal FC and a 2-1 scoreline against Mohun Bagan Super Giant.
The Hyderabad FC side will now aim to secure a win in the final game and finish the campaign on a positive note before resuming their journey in the ISL.
I-League side Sreenidi Deccan are also coming off two consecutive defeats against Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC, losing both games by a 2-1 margin.
The match will be streamed live on the Jio Cinema App at 2:00 PM (IST)
Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs East Bengal FC, 7:30 PM IST
Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC are set to face off for the third time this season, with the previous two meetings taking place during the Durand Cup. Each team has secured one Kolkata derby victory this season, setting the stage for a virtual quarter-final in their upcoming clash.
Both Kolkata clubs have emerged victorious in their opening two matches, and they are currently tied on points and goal difference. However, the Red and Gold Brigade hold the advantage with a higher number of goals (5) compared to the Mariners (4).
Consequently, a draw in the Kolkata derby will see East Bengal FC through to the semi-finals of the Kalinga Super Cup. In contrast, Mohun Bagan Super Giant finds themselves in a situation where winning the derby is imperative to secure their place in the semi-final.
The Red and Gold Brigade could potentially make it to the semi-final of the Super Cup for the second time after the inaugural edition in 2018, where they finished as runners-up. However, the team won't be content with relying on a draw and will be determined to go for the win.
“Both teams must be very motivated. We know in football that when you’re looking for a draw, you finally end up losing the game. So, for us, it’s about winning. No question about that,” East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat said in the pre-match press conference.
Captain Cleiton Silva reiterated the coach's words. He said, “We cannot go for a draw, we must win the game. It’s always interesting to play a derby. It’s a big game, the biggest game in India. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Mohun Bagan SG, who secured the last derby win in the Durand Cup final, are eager to secure another victory on Friday and advance to the knockout stage of the Super Cup.
“We know the significance of this match, not just in terms of the derby but, more importantly, in terms of a semi-final spot. That’s the most important thing,” said Mohun Bagan SG head coach Clifford Miranda.
Defender Brendan Hamill joined the head coach in the pre-match press conference. Speaking about the Kolkata derby, he said, “From our perspective, it’s a game that we love to play and don’t need any extra motivation for. I’ve been fortunate enough to play a few derbies and I know what it means for the fans. It’s very exciting, it’s the first match you look for when the calendar comes out. There’s a chance to win silverware and qualify for a spot in Asia.”
The match will be streamed live on the Jio Cinema App at 7:30 PM (IST)