AIFF MEDIA TEAM
BENGALURU, 23rd May:
TRAU FC coach L. Nandakumar Singh aims to harness the momentum that propelled his side into the Hero 2nd Division League final round when they take on Hindustan FC in the opener on Thursday (May 24, 2018) at the FSV Arena in Bengaluru. The match will be kick-off at 1:30 pm.
The clash, even at this early stage, is liable to represent a crucial fixture in the title aspirations of both teams. A defeat on an opening day would leave either side facing a mountainous climb. However, on the other side of the coin, victory would help them to build momentum in a competition that offers little scope to make mistakes.
While TRAU surprised many by reaching the final round making their maiden Hero 2nd Division League appearance. Hindustan FC, who finished at bottom of their qualification group last season, showed a miraculous turn around to earn the qualification as the best second-placed team.
TRAU could seem favourite to win this game taking into account the readiness of the players for this game on both the mental and physical side. However, their opponents will not be that easy to beat. The physical strength of Hindustan FC players, as well as the quick counter attacks they have, could be a dangerous weapon in the game. However, should TRAU fully realize their offensive potential, as they did in momentously downing a strong Mohammedan Sporting Club side twice during the qualifying round, then it is difficult to see Hindustan FC handling TRAU’s vast array of attacking riches.
Princewill Olariche Emeka represents the jewel in TRAU’s glittering attacking crown. If the Nigerian forward recreates the sparkling form he showcased throughout the qualifying round, Hindustan FC’s defenders could endure the most torrid of evenings.
Hindustan FC, on the other hand, typically take a very conservative approach to their matches. They prefer to sit deep, stay organized, hit on the counter when they can and take their chances in a low-scoring affair.
Coach Vikrant Sharma’s study of his opponents is comprehensive; his ability to shift tactics during games makes Hindustan FC a tough team to figure out.
There might not be many recognizable names in the Hindustan FC squad, but one player who will be leading the way is former Minerva Punjab winger Nitesh Chhikara. The versatile footballer has helped Hindustan FC to finish unbeaten in qualifying round, so there should be plenty of confidence and some experience within him and the rest of the group heading into the final round.