Mohammedan FC defeated FC Goa 3-1 in the Durand Cup‘s opening game yesterday thanks to an incredible comeback. The Black Panthers came back strongly in the second half after the hosts fell behind after the opening 45 minutes courtesy to a spectacular goal by Muhammed Nemil. Pritam Singh, Faslu Rahman, and captain Marcus Joseph all scored in the second half to get them over the line.
Here’s what Muhammed Nemil, FC Goa’s star midfielder, had to say following the game :
1. Durand Cup has been a great platform for youngsters. Your views?
Yes, the Durand Cup is a great platform for young players. I am personally grateful for the opportunity I got in the Durand Cup last year, as my performances there helped me earn a place in the FC Goa first team. And it is not just about the first-team opportunities – as youngsters, the more we play, the more we develop and become even better footballers. On that note, the game time and experience we gain by playing at the Durand Cup will benefit us greatly for sure.
2. Durand Cup being the season opener, started with FC Goa versus Mohammedan Sporting Club. Your Views?
It was a very intense match and we gave our absolute best to win and start off the tournament with a win but they were a strong team indeed, but I would like to focus on myself and my team, and on what we can do to get results out of every game. I am happy to be back and scoring the first goal of this Durand Cup.
3. Thoughts on this year’s Durand Cup? Your plans and target?
I’m happy to be back. Last year, I did well in the Durand Cup and that helped me earn a spot in the FC Goa first team. This year, I hope to work even harder and help the team get good results. Our squad is full of young and talented players who are all very eager to make a good impact, and I hope we can win the trophy together.
4. How has Indian football developed over this year?
The addition of Durand Cup, Super Cup etc to the Indian football calendar is a big boost, as it promises players more game time. The more we play, the more we develop as players and that is one of the ways by which the quality of Indian football can develop.
5. Message to the fans who will be following the tournament this season?
The last time I played in front of the fans was in the finals of the Durand Cup last year, which we won. We missed the fans’ presence during the ISL, and hence we’re happy to see them return this time. To the FC Goa fans, thank you for all your support for myself and the team all these years, and I hope you up in good numbers at Kolkata once again and cheer for us – as we hope to bring back the trophy home once again.
FC Goa will face Indian Air Force next on August 19th at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan.
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