It’s going to be a highly anticipated clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati as NorthEast United FC take on Downtown Heroes FC in the last match of Group D in the 132nd edition of the Durand Cup. The Highlanders need to secure all the three points in order to progress into the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time.
Juan Pedro Benali’s side began their season with a 4-0 win over Shillong Lajong in which Parthib Gogoi scored a hat-trick. That win was followed by a hard-fought contest with FC Goa in which both sides shared the spoils. NorthEast United FC twice took the lead in the contest with the Gaurs with Manvir Singh scoring the opener in the first half & then forcing an own goal off Sandesh Jhingan in the second half.
As things stand in Group D, the fellow Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side have already booked their place in the last eight having amassed seven points, while NEUFC have four with a game in hand. Three points will be enough for the home side to confirm a place in the next round as one of the two best second-placed teams in the group stage. To top the group, the Highlanders must beat Downtown Heroes FC by at least six goals.
Here’s what head coach Benali had to say about the upcoming challenge, “Downtown Heroes FC have proven to be a formidable opponent. In their recent match where they posed a significant challenge to FC Goa. To progress in this tournament, we must bring our A-game and ensure we deliver a top-notch performance. Our focus is on the task at hand, and we're determined to secure a win to keep our tournament hopes alive.”
The match will kick-off at 2:30 pm on August 12 and will be broadcast live on Sony Sports Network and streamed live on Sony LIV.