FC Goa registered a comprehensive 5-1 win over Delhi FC in the quarter-finals of the Durand Cup 2021 on Friday but club captain Edu Bedia was less than satisfied with the condition of the field where they played their match. The quarter-final was moved from the Mohun Bagan ground to Kalyani Stadium after the former was deemed unplayable after incessant rain in Kolkata meant the pitch was completely waterlogged and unfit to play on.
FC Goa have expressed logistical concerns regarding the Kalyani Stadium as well but they accepted the situation and decided to play the quarter-final on the ground.
In the pre-match press conference, FC Goa’s Director of Football Ravi Puskur had explained that Kalyani was 2-3 hours away from where they were staying and since the kick-off was at 2PM IST, they would have to leave at 6AM in order to make the ground on time for their preparations ahead of the game. “I don’t think that’s ideal for a professional club to be up and running at 6 for an afternoon match," Puskur had said.
Though the Kalyani was in a better state than the Mohun Bagan ground but the pitch was still not in pristine condition, primarily due to the weather in the state.
After the win, Bedia took to Instagram to post a photograph of the team in a huddle and spoke about the conditions, the timing of the game and the travelling issue.
“Possibly yesterday was the game with the worst conditions of my sports career, because of the field, because of the weather, because of the time, because of the trip… but once again this team has shown that it is hungry to do great things. Very proud of this team," he said.
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Goa, the favourites to win the tournament, made the semi-finals after a comprehensive win over Delhi FC. Barring the first 10 minutes or so, Delhi FC had no control over the game as FC Goa ran circles around them. If not for the rugby tackles from the Delhi outfit and had Goa been more clinical in front of the goal, they would have won with a bigger margin.
Devendra Murgaonkar put Goa in the lead with a header while Muhammed Nemil made it 2-0 with a tap-in. Brandon Fernandes then put Goa 3-0 up at half time with a sweet free kick goal. Nikhil Mali then pulled one back for Delhi but Leander D’Cunha reacted quickly on the other end to restore Goa’s three-goal lead. Alexander Romario Jesuraj scored Goa’s fifth goal to round off the victory.