Durand Cup 2021: Army Green dominate Armed Forces Team of the Tournament

Army Green and Army Red made it to the quarterfinals of the Durand Cup 2021. Image Credit:
Army Green and Army Red made it to the quarterfinals of the Durand Cup 2021. Image Credit:
Tanay Apte

Army Green were eliminated by Bengaluru FC in the quarterfinals of the Durand Cup 2021 on Saturday. Army Red had to withdraw due to positive Covid cases within the squad. It brought to an end the participation of the regimental teams.

There were some impressive performances by the players in these teams along the way. Army Green and Army Red will take most of the credit for qualifying for the quarterfinals, but the Indian Navy also did well in a tough group.

Here is an XI featuring players exclusively from the armed forces teams at the Durand Cup 2021 -

Goalkeeper: Sarath Narayanan (Army Green)

A man-of-the-match performance in the opening game against FC Goa set the tone for Sarath's excellent Durand Cup campaign. He made crucial saves in wins over Jamshedpur FC and Sudeva Delhi FC which ensured his team's progress into the knockout stages.

Right Defense: Vikas Zanje (Army Green)

The right-back from Pune put in a solid shift consistently throughout the tournament for Army Green. He started every game and kept his opponents honest most of the time.

Central Defense: Dalraj Singh (Indian Navy)

Strong in the tackle and a calming presence at the back for the Indian Navy, Dalraj even scored the winning goal in their opening game. A good showing against Kerala Blasters followed where he kept their illustrious forwards quiet for a long time.

Left Defense: Chanambam Singh (Army Green)

Struck up a good partnership in defense with Subash Limbu, which was crucial in group stage wins for Army Green. Possessing a good range of passing, Chanambam also made some good interceptions and blocks.

Right Midfield: Deepak Singh (Army Green)

Top scorer for Army Green, winger Deepak Singh scored two goals in the win over Jamshepdur in the group stage. He followed that up with the winning goal against Sudeva in the next game which sent his team into the quarterfinals.

Attacking Midfield: Dip Majumdar (Army Green)

Given the role of an impact substitute in most games, Dip came off the bench to do just that. His direct running and dribbling caused all sorts of problems for tiring defenders in the later part of the games.

Defensive Midfield: Sarbhjit Singh (Indian Navy)

Completely changed the game after coming on as a substitute against Delhi FC, Sarbhjit did not have to look back after that. He started the remaining matches and kept things ticking in midfield while also screening the backline.

Left Midfield: Bikash Thapa (Army Red)

Scored two goals in the tournament, one against Assam Rifles and the other against Gokulam Kerala. Was used as the focal point of the attack and did well to hold up the ball and bring others into play.

Right Forward: Vivek Kumar (Indian Air Force)

The IAF skipper scored a brace against FC Bengaluru United but was powerless to stop his side from being eliminated. He caused problems for the experienced defenders of Mohammedan Sporting and FCBU and his finishing was clinical.

Center Forward: Sreyas VG (Indian Navy)

The Indian national football team's problems with the center forward position are well documented. They could do worse than take a look at Sreyas, who has the build to lead the line. He scored two goals, ran the channels, pressed tirelessly and won his aerial duels.

Left Forward: Liton Shil (Army Red)

The forward opened his team's goalscoring account for the tournament against the Assam Rifles in a comfortable win. However, it was his brace against Hyderabad FC in the crucial last group stage game which sent them into the quarterfinals.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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