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Federation Cup Group D: A must for Dempo to qualify

Federation Cup Group D: A must for Dempo to qualify

AIFF Media

Goal looks at cluster D of the Federation Cup where the Golden Eagles are pooled alongside Bhawanipore, United Sikkim and Mohammedan Sporting…

Dempo SC

Beto will be the key player for Dempo

There is no denying the fact that Dempo have got the easiest group and are the favourites to qualify into the knockout stages.  Facing the likes of Bhawanipore, Mohammedan Sporting and United Sikkim would see the Goan side not break much sweat.

Dempo have struggled in the I-League and the fact that coach Arthur Papas was away for over a month due to personal reason didn’t help their cause either. Add to this, two foreign signings bombed big time and in came Haroon Amiri and Tolgay Ozbey.

The Golden Eagles have scored the second least number of goals in the league and facing ‘not so strong’ opponents would give them an opportunity to get their players on the scoresheet and boost their confidence. Ozbey too hasn’t been in the best of form and this is his opportunity to find his rhythm back.

The addition of Sanju Pradhan has further strengthened their squad as he could be deployed in the middle of the park or on the flanks given that pace was his asset which was best used at Air India. It is also vital for Dempo to ensure that Beto remains fit as he is arguably their best player and makes them tick with his range of passing and eye for goals.

Mohammedan Sporting

Sen needs some positive results

Their statistics in the I-League are similar to that of Dempo SC – 13 goals scored and 17 conceded. However they have played two games less than the Goan outfit. Coach Bola Moshood was shown the door and in came Sanjoy Sen who guided them to qualify for the I-League in the first place. Josimar da Silva is their star striker with nine goals however Penn Orji hasn’t hit the ground running for his new club. Luciano Sobrosa has been a rock at the heart of the Mohammedan defense but has injured himself remains a doubtful starter.

The Black and Whites, like Dempo, would take to Federation Cup in order to boost their confidence ahead of the remaining I-League fixtures where they have the task of ensuring they do not finish at the bottom of the table. Syed Rahim Nabi will look to impress national coach Wim Koevermans and thereby win a place back in the squad.


Former India international Manjit Singh needs to up his game

The Kolkata-based outfit won the Bordoloi Trophy ahead of the Federation Cup which must raise their spirit. They do have a few experienced players in their ranks such as Jose Barreto, Daniel Bedemi, Rajib Ghosh and Gurpreet Singh. However the Brazilian striker is down with a hamstring injury and could possibly miss out on the opening two fixtures. Goalkeeper  Debajit Majumdar was named as the player of the trophy by Assam Sports Journalists Association last week.

Manjit Singh, the former Mahindra United striker, would hope to catch attention of some of the I-League clubs by putting in some consistent performances.  Midfielder Dipendu Dwary has also been in good form and the opposition teams must keep an eye on him.

United Sikkim

Can Ekendra's United Sikkim pull off an upset?

The Snow Lions are the reigning champions of the Sikkim Football Association’s (SFA) Senior Division S-League. At the Durand Cup, they finished second in their group with three points from two matches where they were grouped alongside Mumbai Tigers and Assam Regiment.

Ekendra Singh is their head coach and his experience from Sporting Clube de Goa days will be crucial for the north eastern outfit. They have three players on-loan from IMG-Reliance in midfielders, Sukhwinder Singh and James Singh along with defender Surkumar Singh.

In Amritpal Singh, they have a defender who is known for his throw-ins which go straight into the box. 20-year old Nima Tamang will also look to make a mark in the tournament.

The Federation Cup experience will be vital for them ahead of the I-League second division campaign.

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