Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs Goa: Preview and Prediction
The Mariners recorded a clinical 3-1 win over Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City in the quarter-final fixture while Goa outplayed Chennaiyin 4-1 with a brilliant second-half comeback in their last knockout match.
Being in Group A, Mohun Bagan SG started their 2023 Durand Cup campaign against the Bangladesh Army. Juan Ferrando’s side gave a reliable performance as they utterly annihilated the foreign armed forces with the final score reading 5-0. Goals from Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, Suhail Bhat, Lalrinliana Hnamte, and Kiyan Nassiri helped the Mariners ace against the Bangladesh Army comfortably.
In the second match, the Mariners locked horns against newly ISL-promoted Punjab at Kishore Bharati Krirangan. A first-half own goal by Punjab star Melroy Assisi broke the deadlock in the match and the 2-0 victory was later sealed by Hugo Boumous.
Keeping two clean sheets, in the first two matches of the group stage, Juan Ferrando’s men took on their arch-rival, East Bengal. The Mariners were the favorites to win the match but Nandhakumar Sekar’s sole strike gifted East Bengal their first Kolkata derby triumph after 1659 days.
Consequently, in the quarter-final, they faced Group B toppers, Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City. Jason Cummings broke the deadlock in the 9th minute and gave the Mariners the lead. Jorge Pereyra Diaz came up with a sloppy goal to level scores for Mumbai City but his attempt was quickly nullified by Manvir Singh. In the second half, the lead was doubled by Anwar Ali as Mohun Bagan sealed the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
Goa locked horns against Shillong Lajong in their season opener at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. Noah Sadoui scored a spectacular hat-trick against the Meghalaya-based club and his effort was supported by Rowllin Borges, Victor Rodriguez, and Carlos Martinez, who helped the Gaurs win the match 6-0.
In the next match, they played against their ISL rivals, NorthEast United and goals from Rowllin Borges and Noah Sadoui helped the Gaurs equalize Manvir Singh’s brace and end the match in a 2-2 draw.
In the last group stage match, the Gaurs played against the Downtown Heroes. Goa cemented their spot in the top position with a 3-0 win with the help of goals from Muhammed Nemil, Carlos Martinez, and Devendra Murgaokar.
In the quarter-final, they were drawn against Group E leaders and ISL rivals, Chennaiyin. After Chennaiyin acquired an early lead with the help of a goal from Bikash Yumnam in the 5th minute but Carl McHugh and Carlos Martinez scored in the first half to help Goa get in the driver’s seat. Moreover, injury-time strikes from Noah Sadoui and Victor Rodriguez made the score 4-1 in favor of the Gaurs.
Mohun Bagan SG and Goa have locked horns against each other for a total of seven times. Moreover, except for one, all of their matches have taken place in the Indian Super League and it is the second time both sides are meeting outside the league competition.
The Mariners have won a total of four matches while Goa has managed to win two games and one of their match ended as a draw. The two Indian Super League sides will clash against each other for the first time since the Super Cup in April, for a spot in the final.
Mohun Bagan SG made a bunch of signings in the transfer window as they added young Indian stars, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anirudh Thapa, and Anwar Ali to their squad. Fortunately, Juan Ferrando’s side is fully fit and fans can expect a stellar contest in the second semi-final of the 2023 Durand Cup.
On the other hand, the Gaurs were highly active in the transfer window as they completed the signing of a few mega stars ahead of the new season. Players such as Victor Rodriguez, Carlos Martinez, and Udanta Singh have already turned out to be great for the side while Carl McHugh’s vision in the midfield will play a significant role for the Gaurs as he recently joined Goa from Mohun Bagan.
Just like the Mariners, the Gaurs will also be participating in the knockout match with full strength as no suspensions or injuries have been reported from the team’s side.
Predicted Starting XIs
Mohun Bagan Super Giant (3-5-2): Vishal Kaith, Anwar Ali, Hector Yuste, Subhashish Bose, Manvir Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Hugo Boumous, Ashique Kuruniyan, Jason Cummings, Armando Sadiku
Goa (4-2-3-1): Dheeraj Singh, Seriton Fernandes, Sandesh Jhingan, Odei Onaindia, Saviour Gama, Raynier Fernandes, Carl McHugh, Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Noah Sadoui, Carlos Martinez
Both sides have had a good run to the semi-final of the prestigious tournament and the masterminds Juan Ferrando and Manolo Marquez will be going at loggerheads to outmuscle each other with the perfect tactics.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant eliminated the dangerous-looking Mumbai City in the last round and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they oust the Gaurs to set up another Kolkata Derby in the final of the Durand Cup with the two sides last playing against each other at that stage in 2004.