AN ACTION PACKED DAY at the Durand Cup 2019 saw 3 simultaneous matches take place today, with crucial wins picked up by Mohun Bagan, Gokulam Kerala FC and FC Goa.
Mohun Bagan took on local rivals ATK at their own stadium in a Group B clash. It was the second match for both clubs; MB had started their campaign with a win against Mohammedan Sporting and ATK were held to a draw by Indian Navy.
In a match hindered by a heavily wet pitch due to incessant rains, the two teams played out a competitive match. Mohun Bagan missed multiple easy chances, hitting the post once. Ultimately they found the net twice through Francisco Morante and Jose Betia. Towards the end of the match, Ashish Pradhan capitalized from an uncharacteristic defensive error by Ashutosh Mehta and got one back for ATK. The match ended with the Greend and Maroons winning 2-1.
This result leaves Mohun Bagan with 6 points from 2 matches, while ATK have 1 point from 2 matches. As things stand, Mohun Bagan will qualify for the semi-finals as group toppers if they hold Indian Navy to a draw on 17th August.
Meanwhile at Kalyani Stadium, FC Goa beat Army Green 1-0 in a Group C encounter with the solitary goal of the match coming from Liston Colaco who botched a penalty by shooting it straight at keeper Narayanan but was fortunate to get the back on rebound and successfully found the net. This match was the campaign opener for both sides, and the victory took the Gaurs to the top of the points table, tied with Real Kashmir FC who earlier beat Chennai City FC by a solitary goal.
In Group D, Gokulam Kerala FC got off to a spectacular start beating Chennaiyin FC 4-0. The Malabarians got off the mark with Marcus Joseph scoring around the 39th minute, and he found the net again after the hour mark. Henry Kisseka scored the third for GKFC, then Marcus completed their hat-trick shortly afterwards. This was the first match in the group, and has placed the Kozhikode-based club in a strong position to finish at the top of the group.
Tomorrow, the Durand Cup action will continue with Jamshedpur FC taking on Army Red (Group A) and newly promoted I-League club TRAU FC facing the Indian Air Force team.