Army Red concluded their Durand Cup campaign with a stunning 1-0 win over Indian Super League champions Hyderabad FC here on Saturday.
Having already qualified for the quarterfinals as group toppers, HFC coach Manolo Marquez made a flurry of changes, including giving the captain’s armband to Halicharan Narzary. Soyal Joshi made his debut. In the absence of regular captain Nikhil Poojary and Chinglensana Singh, their two defensive mainstays, the ISL champions looked a shadow of their best self as Army Red went ahead through captain Suresh Meitei’s header off a free kick in the 33rd minute.
Hyderabad also got plenty of chances but failed to make use of them as the Army Red’s Bhabindra Thakur put up a resolute performance under the bar.
What a show! Army Red pulls off the biggest upset of the competition so far! The @IndSuperLeague CHAMPIONS receives their first defeat of the tournament. #ARED 1-0 #HFC#AREDHFC ⚔️#KLS 🏟️#DurandCup 🏆#IndianOilDurandCup 🏆#DurandCup2022 🏆#IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/YzCg9DcAOO
— Durand Cup (@thedurandcup) September 3, 2022
HFC (nine points) won their first three matches, while the Army outfit ended their campaign with five points. The outcome of NEROCA FC and Chennayin FC fixture here on Monday will determine the second quarterfinalist from Group C.