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Guwahati : The first quarter-final between home-side NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) and the Indian Army Football Team (IAFT), is set for kick-off here at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Thursday, August 24, 2023. All the quarter-finals begin at 6.00pm Indian Standard Time (IST).
You can watch the LIVE coverage of the 132nd IndianOil Durand Cup 2023 on the Sony Sports Ten 2 channels as well as livestream on SonyLIV .
The Highlanders have been impressive and unbeaten in their 132nd IndianOil Durand Cup campaign so far, doing exceedingly well to come second, only on goal difference, in Group D behind FC Goa. They scored nine goals and conceded three, two of them in their 2-2 draw against the Gaurs. French playmaker and captain Romain Philippoteux and young striker Parthib Gogoi have been particularly impressive, the latter with four goals to his name so far including the tournament’s first hat-trick.
Spanish head coach Juan Pedro Ben Ali however was in no mood to take their quarter-final opponents lightly, saying before the game, “The Indian Army FT is very good. They topped the table and were unbeaten. They’re a physically strong side, can run relentlessly, and have a rock-solid defence, conceding only once. We need to be at our absolute best to reach the semi-finals.”
It is a fact that the IAFT have also remained unbeaten in the tournament and have been very determined in their campaign. They will also probably be at full-strength in the quarter-finals with key players like striker Liton Sil back after suspension and will also play with a lot of pride.
Anthony Ramesh their coach said after pre-match training, “Tomorrow we are going to play quarterfinal against North East united. We will give our best shot against an experienced team. We have prepared hard for tomorrow’s game. We will play best football and make sure that we win the game.”
The home-side on the strength of their goal scoring prowess shown in this tournament, clearly go into the game as favourites, but otherwise there is not much to separate them and a highly competitive and entertaining game of football can be expected.