Durand Cup: Md. Sp. win on busy day
The man who helped Gokulam Kerala win the 2019 Durand Cup plotted his former team’s exit this time.
Marcus Joseph broke Gokulam Kerala hearts by scoring the match-winner for Mohammedan Sporting a minute before half-time in a quarter-final match on Thursday at the Salt Lake Stadium, which saw 7,500 spectators in attendance. That’s also a first in more than one-and-a-half years. Marcus had scored a brace in a 2-1 victory over Mohun Bagan in the Durand Cup final two years back at the same ground.
Earlier, Army Red withdrew from their Friday’s quarter final against FC Bengaluru United after Covid-19 cases were detected in their squad, allowing their opponents to move into the last four without kicking the ball.
There was more off-the-field action as the organisers decided to change the venue of the third quarter final, between FC Goa and Delhi FC, from the Mohun Bagan ground to the Kalyani Stadium. That did not go down well with the FC Goa team management.
“Surprised by how poor the conditions at the Mohun Bagan ground were.
“Upon discussing with the organising committee, they have given us alternatives like Kalyani and Salt Lake.
“There are a lot of uncertainties regarding Kalyani (stadium).
“It doesn’t really make (it) easier as the ground is two-and-a-half hours away from us (the city) and we need to leave at 6am to play a game that’s at 2pm.
“That is not ideal for the players or any professional football team. So they (organisers) have to make a very important decision,” Ravi Puskar, FC Goa’s director of football, said at a virtual news conference.
It has been learnt FC Goa may pull out if the match is not held at the Salt Lake Stadium.