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Mahindra, AI in Mumbai shootout

Calcutta: Mumbai teams Mahindra United and Air India lock horns on Saturday for a berth in the semi-finals of the Tata Federation Cup.

While Mahindra struggled to get past Haywards Sporting in the pre-quarter final, Air India showed great enthusiasm and character in their 2-1 come-from-behind win against Dempo SC.

Mahindra coach David Booth, however, is confident of his team’s chances. “We struggled a bit in the opening game but the players are better prepared now. I expect them to perform a lot better on Saturday.”

The treacherous and near unplayable turf at the Salt Lake Stadium has forced the IFA to shift the venue to Howrah Stadium and that should be good news to both the outstation teams.

Not used to playing in the muck, the Howrah Stadium should come as a welcome relief for the players to showcase their skills. “The ground is in very good condition,” feels Air India coach Bimal Ghosh.

He, however, was of the opinion that the better ground conditions will help Mahindra. “Mahindra have more experienced players.In better underfoot conditions, they will enjoy the edge. But the team that copes better with the psychological pressure will prevail,” added Ghosh.

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