KALIMPONG: Mohammedan Sporting Club will face East Bengal in the final of 2018 GTA Chairman’s Gold Cup on Sunday December 23, 2018 at Mela Ground in Kalimpong, kick-off 2 PM.
While Black Panthers eased past Oil India Dhulijan 2-0 to book their place in the finale, East Bengal were pushed to their limits by Kalighat Milan Sangha in other semi-final and secured their spot in the final after surviving a penalty shootout with goalkeeper Mirshad K proving their hero in the shootout.
For many a fan, Mohammedan SC is the favourite to win the ultimate at the knockout competition given East Bengal squad is mostly comprised of Under-18 players with a few senior players like Surabuddin Mallick, Koushik Sarkar, Hira Mondal and Mirshad.
However, Mohammedan SC coach Raghunath Nandy is not willing give ear to that assertion and insisted that East Bengal have an equal chance of being crowned champions.
“We are not favourites,” said Nandy. “The set up for both teams is almost similar. Both teams have the equal chance of winning the competition.”
“They are very youthful and exciting; very quick coming out. They have a very experienced coach on the bench and those are the challenges we have to face. We would love to win it, but it doesn’t only come through wishes, we have to work hard for it,” he added.
Skipper Philip Adjah Tetteh has already netted four goals in the competition and the team would be surely looking at him for inspiration, but Adjah insists the occasion will not be personal as he looks to help the team further their preparations ahead of what is setting up to be an grueling Hero 2nd Division League season.
“It’s a big game, and it’s not about me but about the club, supporters and everyone behind the team,” said Adjah.
“We want to do our best, we want to see how far we can go in preparing for the 2nd Division League, and yeah it’s a big test for us but we’re looking forward to it. The team is looking sharp, and everyone is just one happy family,” he added.