East Bengal gunning for 15th Durand title

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Kolkata giants East Bengal will be gunning for their 15th title when they take on Army XI in the final of the Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Sta

East Bengal gunning for 15th Durand title

New Delhi:

Kolkata giants East Bengal will be gunning for their 15th title when they take on Army XI in the final of the Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium on Friday. East Bengal, whose record of 14 cup triumphs is second only to Mohun Bagan's 16, enter the final as firm favourites. They last won the title in 1995, beating Tata Football Academy 4-3 on penalty shootout, and ended runner-up in 1998 and 1999. Army, who have been the traditional hosts of the tournament since its inception in 1888, are making their maiden appearance in a Durand final. Many feel that Army's entry reflects the lacklustre nature of the tournament's current edition. The scheduling and the pre-tournament controversies surrounding the non-participation of big teams like Mohun Bagan has robbed the event of some of its sheen. And the absence of star players has meant one of the poorest crowd turnouts in the tournament's history. East Bengal though have done well to capitalise on the perfect opportunity to give themselves a good shot at the coveted title. The West Bengal outfit has done well considering they are without the services of six of their senior players. They suffered a shocking reverse at the hand of MEG, Bangalore, in the league stage but Subhas Bhowmic, the team's coach, explained it away as an aberration. Bhowmic was pragmatic in his assessment of the team's performance in the tournament and said he was happy with the team's 1-0 win over Salgaocar Sport Club, the other major force, in the semi-final yesterday. (PTI)



Topics : Football
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