|FC Kochin to meet Air-India
October 22, 1998
NEW DELHI: The absence of key players from major clubs of the country has robbed this year's Durand Cup football tournament of its glamour as most of them are away in the national camp in a bid to make it to the Asian Games if cleared by the Indian Olympic Association.
The quarter-final league phase of one of the oldest soccer tournaments in the world will kick off on Thursday at the Ambedkar Stadium with the match between defending champions F.C. Kochin and Air-India. Mohun Bagan will meet qualifiers Vasco Goa in the second match.
FC Kochin, led by K V Dhanesh, will be without their promising
players like Prabhjot Singh, Mahesh Gavali, Noel Wilson, Rocky Barreto,
Nithin Pradhan who all had put in a splendid performance in the last edition
of the DCM Cup. They are all at Bangalore for the camp. The Calcutta super
league champions East Bengal will also be without the services of five
of their top players, while national league champions Mohun Bagan will
be without I.M. Vijayan and Basudev Mondal. All these players are in the
camp. F C Kochin, Air India, Mohun Bagan, and qualifiers Vasco Goa are
in Group A while Group B have East Bengal, Mahindra and Mahindra, Punjab
State Electricity Board and qualifiers Army XI. The preliminary stage
ended on Wednesday with two inconsequential matches. In the first one,
Bhutan XI and Navy were locked two-all, while Nepal XI defeated Air Force
1-0 in the second. Ugen (25th and 53rd minutes) scored a brace for the
Bhutan team and K. Chandra (65th minute) and V.K. Mishra
In the second match, Ananta Thapa netted the lone goal for
Octber 22 - FC Kochin v Air India, Mumbai (1 pm), Mohun Bagan v Vasco Goa (3 pm).
October 23 - Mahindra and Mahindra v PSEB (1 pm), East
October 24 - Mohun Bagan v Air India (1 pm), FC Kochin Vasco, Goa (3 pm).
October 25 - East Bengal v PSEB (1 pm), Mahindras v Army XI (3 pm).
Semi-final 1: October 28 - Winner's of Group A v Runners-up of Group