New Delhi: After guiding Mohammeden Sporting to a historic Durand Cup victory with a sparkling performance on Thursday, star striker Tolegey Ozebey said they have proved that this team is capable of winning big matches.
Tolgay scored a fantastic goal and set up another in Sporting's 2-1 win over ONGC in the summit clash of one of the oldest football tournament of the world.
"We have got a lot of fitness out of this tournament. It will help us greatly in I-League. We have proven that we can win big matches. I have won a lot of tournaments in India barring Durand Cup and I-League. Now I can strike off Durand from that list and focus will be on I-League," an ecstatic Tolgay told reporters after the historic win.
"It's a great confidence booster for us. The boys are now in great spirits going into the I-league. We played a good opposition in the final," he added.
Mohammedan Sporting will be playing Pune FC on September 21st in the I-League opener in Kolkata.
"It's taken a great toll on my body having played four matches in eight days. But if this is the outcome, then I am ready to sacrifice and bear the pain over and over again," he said.
Tolgay's last season with Mohun Bagan was marred by controversies regarding his fitness and it wasn't on a very happy note that he bid adieu to the green and maroon brigade this year.
"That's past now. I don't want to think about the past year and what all transpired. I am in a happy space right now and it feels like those days when I used to play for East Bengal. Penn is also here and our great friendship also makes up for a good combination," the Aussie striker added.
Coach Abdul Azeez was delirious. The players lifted him and drenched him with water in jubilation.
"I have to thank the president and all board members who gave me this opportunity. It's an honour to guide the team to a victory after 73 years and it is their perseverance of all years (that paid). I respect them for that," he said.
Not everything was joyful for Mohammden Sporting as senior defender Luciano Sabrosa from Brazil suffered a left-arm injury, which is expected to rule him out of action for at least a month.
"It's a big blow for us. It is unfortunate that he got a bad injury," Azeez said.
Tolgay also looked worried. "Luciano would be out for atleast six weeks but good news is Penn will be back for our first (I-League) match. But Luciano's injury is a terrible thing for us."