The Durand cup semis has now become a war between the I-League clubs with Quess East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Real Kashmir FC and Gokulam FC making to the top four of the 129th edition of the prestigious tournament. On Wednesday afternoon the Kolkata giants East Bengal is all set to lock horns against Malabarian side Gokulam Kerala FC at the gallant Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
Talk Sports 24X7 comes up with the present form and past records from both the sides and also predicts the probabilities of the first semi final of Durand Cup 2019.
Records to look back
Looking at the past match records between East Bengal and Gokulam Kerala, Gokulam may not look so impressive as they lost both the legs of the I-League matches against the Red and Golds last season. East Bengal had an easy win at their den in VYBK while they needed to struggle a bit to earn full points from Kerala. But Gokulam Kerala looks to be a new team in this Durand Cup as they had an all win run in the group stages which shows the skill and composure they have in the current squad which East Bengal will surely try to cope up in the semis as they too share the same status of all win in the group stage.
Marcus Joseph the sharp shooting factor
Marcus Joseph has obviously turned to be a show stopper for Gokulam in this Durand Cup as he has scored in almost every game of the group stage. The Trinidad and Tobago star is in a tremendous form scoring eight goals out of his three appearances which makes him the top scorer of the competition. He is ready to score against any team and is expected to play a very important role in the semi final as he has the calibre to become a game changer for Gokulam Kerala FC. Marcus already has a goal against East Bengal from the season which was the only goal Gokulam could score in their home ground against the mighty Red and Golds. On the other side the East Bengal think tank and Alejandro Menendez Garcia will definitely come with some plan to stop this golden run of Marcus in this tournament.
Bidyasagar Singh – The New Star For East Bengal?
Undoubtedly Bidyasagar Singh has turned to be the best finding of this Durand Cup for East Bengal. The 21 year old Manipuri has got 5 goals in his bag from this tournament making him one of the highest Indian goal scorers. Last year he was selected for the East Bengal I-League squad from their academy but failed to impress as he scored only one goal and missed a lot of chances bringing him amidst the red eye of East Bengal fans. He also represented Bengal in Santosh Trophy and his performance was satisfying. But in this Durand Cup he is on an another level. He has been successful to keep his name on the score sheet in every matches of this tournament and he almost single handedly helped East Bengal to win over Bengaluru FC and earn a spot in top four. Answers to the questions like is he the ultimate replacement of Jobby Justin or is he really the star in making will surely be answered based upon the performance that he shows in the semi-finals.
East Bengal’s current form :
Though East Bengal won both the matches against Gokulam last season it may turn harder for the Kolkata Giants to beat them again. Since the I-League last season there has been a lot of changes in the squad for East Bengal. Most of the foreign players are new to play in Indian conditions and are still in a mode to acclimatize to the situations. The lack of target man in the offence also hampered their Durand Cup journey as the controversial departure of Jobby left East Bengal shocked. The newly arrived foreigner Marti Crespi is not in the best of shapes. Basically the team is in a rebuilding process which may turn as a bliss for Gokulam FC. East Bengal also lost their first CFL match against George Telegraph last week raising some questions about their present form. The only good news for East Bengal is Jaime Santos Colado’s injury has turned to improve and the Spaniard is scheduled to be available for the semis. Colado has scored three goals in the Durand cup and his understanding with Bidyasagar evokes a hope in the East Bengal fans as they believe to overcome all odds.
Possibility of Great Indian Derby :
There is a high possibility of season’s first derby to occur at the Finals of Durand Cup as both the Kolkata Giants have made into the top four. For this to turn into reality both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have to come over Real Kashmir FC and Gokulam Kerala FC respectively. Thus the 129th Durand Cup comes up with a chance for both the Red and Golds and the Green and Maroons to increase their Durand Cup titles in the championship records. On the other hand the situation may turn all odd for the Bengal football lovers as this edition of the prestigious Durad Cup may come up with a new champion out of the two younger Indian Clubs. Thus the Durand knock out stage is sure to provide enormous adrenaline rush and is full of probabilities making the Indian football fans experience a good competition ahead of the upcoming footballing season.