Durand Cup 2019: FC Goa Dev Team vs. Real Kashmir preview

Durand Cup 2019: FC Goa Dev Team vs. Real Kashmir preview

The FC Goa Developmental will look to book their place in the semi-finals of the Durand Cup when they take on Real Kashmir in a virtual quarter-final tomorrow at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal. The young Gaurs come into the game with two wins from as many games and currently sit in second spot in the Group C table, trailing the north Indian outfit on goal-difference.

Both the sides were able to record wins over defending Durand Cup champions Army Green and reigning I-League champions Chennai City FC to garner 6 points from their 2 games.

After defeating Dempo SC in the GFA-organised charity game to begin the season, the Developmental team under the tutelage of Clifford Miranda has taken to the challenge of the Durand Cup like duck to water with victories in both their games.

Whilst a solitary goal from Liston Colaco was good enough for a win over Army Green in their opener, the youngsters showed some real quality and grit to overcome the challenge of Chennai City in the second game. Whilst Liston was able to bag his second of the tournament in the game, Nestor Dias came up big with the winner to put Chennai City out of the competition.

Real Kashmir on the other hand needed a goal in added-on time to beat Chennai City FC in their first game. Meanwhile, their second game saw the men from Kashmir pump in four past Army Green whose disciplinary problems led to two of their players being sent off.

The Gaffer’s Call

Clifford Miranda heads into the game with his boys having the chance of moving into the last four with a win. That, however, is not something that the former Indian international is worried about much and he feels the pressure is somewhere else.

“Nothing changes for us,” states the Developmental team head coach. “We came here with one single motivation, and that is to give our boys more exposure which ultimately helps in our main goal of player development.

“That development is, however, two folds and interlinked. The pressure for us is to perform to our best. And I believe if we do that, we will be able to come out on top in this game. The challenge for me is to see that when the players play well, they make the best of it and come out of the game with what we deserve.”

Real Kashmir brings forth a different kind of challenge for the young Gaurs. Known for their physicality in play, the Kashmiris also have three foreigners in their ranks along with a squad filled with experience.

Speaking on tomorrow’s opponents Clifford Miranda stated, “Real Kashmir are a quality side. They are an I-League team and frankly, all the teams we have in our group are of a higher stature than us but we have shown so far that we can match them for quality. This side is going to bring something different in terms of how they play but I am not really worried.

“Physicality is a part of football and if they are physical within the allowed limits, I believe we can’t have any complaints. In fact our boys relish this opportunity. This is a chance for us to see how adaptable we are. We are confident of our abilities.”

Stats and Facts

  • 2 games involving Real Kashmir in the Durand Cup has seen a total of 4 red cards being furnished
  • Liston Colaco leads the goal-scoring tally for FC Goa with 2 strikes to his name whilst Chesterpaul Lyngdoh is the highest scorer for Real Kashmir with a brace of his own
  • Princeton Rebello leads the FC Goa Developmental Team in passes, key passes and ball recovered
  • After sitting out with a flu in the last game, Saviour Gama will be available for selection for the game