Kolkata: The youthful and exciting Hyderabad FC side kicked off their Durand Cup campaign with a resounding 5-0 victory over Assam Rifles on Sunday. But they will have a massive task ahead of them in the second match as they face 2020-21 I-League winners and 2019 Durand Cup defending champions Gokulam Kerala at the Kalyani Stadium, on Thursday.
Shameel Chembakath’s young side put in a stellar display to knock Assam Rifles out of the Durand Cup in their first game in Group D, but Vincenzo Annese’s Gokulam Kerala side will pose a strong challenge.
“There will certainly be a different look and feel to this game and it will not be easy for us as we are set to face one of the strongest teams in the competition,” said Shameel.
The Kerala-based side who won the last edition of the competition, have travelled to the Durand Cup with a full squad including four overseas players of which two play in attack. However, their 2-2 draw against Army Red has kept Group D wide open with three teams having a chance to qualify for the knockouts.
“The players are pretty confident after the last game and have been giving their best in training. We expect a tough game against the defending champions, but at the moment, we are focusing more on the process as we look to make this journey a productive one,” the Reserve Team Head Coach added.
While the young HFC team put on an impressive show in the opening game, they will now need to put in a composed performance against a strong Malabarians’ side.
The match kicks off at 3:00 pm IST and will be streamed live on the Addatimes app.