FC Goa needed something to cheer about ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) season. In serach of that immense happiness, Juan Ferrando and his team won the Durand Cup, Asia’s oldest football tournament.
On Sunday, the Gaurs faced I-League side Mohammedan SC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) in Kolkata.
The final kicked off on a lively note in front of 34,000+ spectators, but the scoreline remained nil for both teams at the end of regular time. The extra time started more vigorously as Mohammedan mostly tried to unleash counter-attacks but FC Goa held the upper hand most of the time in keeping the possession.
In the 105th-minute of the game, Gaurs captain Edu Bedia was successful in converting a free-kick into a goal which silenced the fans sheerly.
The gaffer Juan Ferrando started the Durand Cup campaign explaining it as pre-season ahead of ISL season. But, the Gaurs clinched the prestigious 40 lakh prize money & the trophies.
“Trust me, I am very happy to play in front of fans. The was amazing,” said Ferrando after the match.
FC Goa remained undefeated throughout the Durand Cup. As they played six matches, the team scored 17 goals and conceded only 4.
“I have told this all the time, we prepared ourselves to work in one plan. Also, if you watched the teams, they were difficult to play. I am not completely happy as we need to improve more day-by-day,” said Ferrando.
This win for FC Goa was special as they became the first ISL club to win this trophy. On the other hand, I-League side Salgaocar were the last Goan team that have won the trophy back in 2014. Other than Salgaocar, Dempo SC has won it once, while Churchill Brothers has been victorious three times.
“As we prepare ahead, my aim is to win the ISL trophy,” Ferrando stated.
Edu Bedia was awarded the Golden Ball and a cash prize of one lakh rupees, for his marvellous overall performance in the tournament. Also, Naveen Kumar bagged the Golden Glove award.
“This is the moment which boosts our confidence. It’s celebration time. We want to win every trophy so we start to prepare for ISL.
“The football is for the fans, without them it’s nothing. It was amazing to have fans in stands after one year,” said Bedia.
Mohammedan SC took away the cash prize of 20 lakh rupees as runner-ups.
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