In the ongoing Durand Cup 2023, Chennaiyin FC is aiming to secure a spot in the quarterfinals by facing Tribhuwan Army in a Group E match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. A victory against Tribhuwan Army would guarantee Chennaiyin FC direct qualification to the quarterfinals. The team is currently leading the group table with three points following a comeback win against Hyderabad FC, during which Jordan Murray scored his first goal for the club. Murray and the team are determined to carry forward their strong performance in the upcoming match.

“Considering the fact that coach Owen Coyle came into the team fold just recently, we played very well. I thought we put up a really good performance and showed a true fighting spirit after going a goal down against Hyderabad FC. The team sticking together as a group and the players know what they need to do in the upcoming match,” commented Murray.

The Durand Cup, in its 132nd edition, features a total of 24 teams from the Indian Super League (ISL), I-League, and the Armed Forces, divided into six groups of four teams each. The top team from each group and the two best second-placed teams across all groups will advance to the quarterfinals.

Owen Coyle, the head coach of Chennaiyin FC, anticipates a tough competition in the upcoming match against Tribhuwan Army. He emphasizes that Chennaiyin FC is solely focused on securing a victory to solidify its top position in the group.

Meanwhile, defending champion Bengaluru FC has announced a 28-member squad, predominantly composed of young players and new signings under former under-17 Indian men’s national team coach, Bibiano Fernandes. They are determined to defend their Durand Cup title. However, the Indian Air Force Football Team, led by long-time coach Priya Darshan, faced a setback in their first game against Gokulam Kerala.

“The boys worked very hard in the last match which was really important. We showed great character and belief in what we are trying to do, it’s very early days as we are trying to build and progress day by day, working hard in the training, and looking to take it into the games and the Durand Cup is the ideal preparation for that,” Owen Coyle commented.

“The upcoming match will be a tough one. I watched them (Tribhuwan Army) against Delhi. They are a fit, dynamic, and strong side. We must try to continue to pass and move the ball and score some good goals. We also know that if we win the game, we’ll already win the group even ahead of the third game. So, that’s a great incentive to make sure that we do our job right,” concluded the Head Coach.

Bengaluru FC’s success will rely on the performance of new signings such as goalkeeper Amrit Gope and central defender Shankar Sampingiraj, as well as young talents like striker Akash Jha. The Indian Air Force team is banking on the experience of having played at the venue before and the contributions of seasoned forwards like Mandeep Singh to secure their first tournament win.

Coach Priya Darshan exuded confidence on matchday-eve saying, “The players are excited to play against ISL team and defending champions BFC and well prepared to fight and win the game.”


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