THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Engrossing Bordoloi Trophy 2018 final on the cards

Mohammedan Sporting Club training session. (Photo courtesy: Mohammedan Sporting Club)
Mohammedan Sporting Club training session. Photo courtesy: Mohammedan Sporting Club

Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Raghunath Nandy says tomorrow’s 2018 Bordoloi Trophy final will be tough but stressed that Black Panthers have prepared well to soar over Oil India FC.

Both sides will be locking horns in the final of the 65th edition of the competition at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati with Honorable Chief Minister of Assam Sri. Sarbananda Sonowal attending as the Chief Guest.

Oil India scraped past TRAU FC with a 3-2 come-from-behind win and will carry the advantage of being the home side. Whereas, Mohammedan SC were pushed to their limits by BSF Jalandhar in other semi-final and secured their spot in the final after surviving a penalty shootout with substitute goalkeeper Sourav Chakraborty proving their hero in the shootout.

A favourite is hard to pick as both are undefeated in the tournament and have proven themselves to be a lethal attacking force. With the likes of Philip Adjah, Prosenjit Chakraborty and Sumit Ghosh in the ranks, Mohammedan SC will always pose a goal threat but the same can be said of Oil India, for whom Jayanta Basumatary and Mintu Boro have been in exceptional form.

Nandy has indicated his pleasure with how the campaign has progressed thus far and remain confident come kick-off that his side will go out and do the business to clinch their first Bordoloi Trophy title since 1991.

“It has been a long and difficult road to get to the final. It is a culmination of hard work and the preparation we did getting into this tournament,” Nandy said.

“We will play our normal game but bearing in mind that the most important thing for us is not to concede. Keeping things tight at the back will be important.”

“l have been working on my team and concentrating on what we need to do to win. We have our destiny in our own hands and I believe we have what it takes to win,” he added.

On the other hand, it’s a big ask for Oil India, who don’t have any foreigners in their side, but coach Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr.) believes the side has the talent and mental strength to do well.

“I think we are well prepared as we can be for this match.” Bhattacharya said. “We are facing a very tough opponent in Mohammedan SC and it will be tough for us, but hopefully we can make it a bit tough on Mohammedan SC too. I’ve been speaking to the boys about it. They have to be confident with themselves, they have to believe in themselves and they have actually shown for me a good style here so why shouldn’t they believe in themselves.”

Mohammedan Sporting have so far scored 6 goals and conceded two in their run up to the final, whereas Oil India scored 7 themselves and conceded four. However, neither side have impressed on a regular basis, and one wonders whether they are holding something back for this stage.

The match is slated to kick-off at 5 pm on Thursday.

(Mohammedan Sporting Club)