Kolkata, Aug 4 (Ajit Weekly News) The reigning Indian Super League (ISL) League Winners, Mumbai City FC will launch their domestic football campaign when they take the field against the century-old Mohammedan Sporting Club in a Group B encounter of the 132nd Durand Cup, here at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK) here on Saturday.
On what will be Super Saturday, Bodoland FC take on Rajasthan United FC in the first-ever Durand Cup game in Kokrajhar.
However, all eyes will be on the clash in Kolkata between Mumbai City FC and Mohammedan Sporting.
The visitors have made their intentions clear by announcing a strong 29-member squad, featuring all their top stars including Greg Stewart, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jorge Pereryra Diaz, Phurba Lachenpa as well as new signings like Akash Mishra, Tiri and Jayesh Rane. The Des Buckingham schooled side were runner-up last time and would love to go one better this time around.
The local giants Mohammedan Sporting on the other hand are in the midst of a lively Calcutta Football League campaign where they are currently placed third. Forwards like Beneston Barretto, David Lalhlansanga and Bikas Singh are in good goal-scoring form and Mumbai will not have it easy in front of home supporters.
“I think the boys are ready and there is a very good atmosphere in the team and the dressing room. Everyone is working very hard and we all know the importance of this game in the Cup, which is very important for us. Also, we are looking forward to having a good game,” Mairajuddin Wadoo, coach of Mohammedan Sporting, said ahead of the game.
On being asked about the key to victory on Saturday, Wadoo, a former player for club and country said, “I think hard work. I think without hard work there’s no success. So we are looking forward to putting our best foot forward tomorrow and making sure that we do our very best on the pitch.
“The squad is doing well. We have foreigners, they have just arrived and are gelling well as a team. So, I think it’s been almost two months since we have started the season and the boys, have already recognized everything, the atmosphere in Calcutta and everyone looks very positive. So that is the key,” he added.
Once an integral part of the ‘Big Three’ of the famous Kolkata Maidans, Mohammedan Sporting have won the title twice in the Durand Cup and runners-up four times. They won their last title in 2013 and finished runners-up last year.
Mumbai City, on the other hand, are one of the top teams today in India with a big match temperament. They will be looking for their maiden title in Durand Cup after finishing runners-up last year, losing to Bengaluru FC 2-1 in the final.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S