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COVID-19 hits Durand Cup as Army Red withdraw from quarter-finals to send FC Bengaluru into semis

Some players contracted COVID-19 in the Army Red squad and as a result the team has withdrawn from the Durand Cup.
Some players contracted COVID-19 in the Army Red squad and as a result the team has withdrawn from the Durand Cup.
Hari Kishore M
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The Durand Cup quarter-final match between Army Red and FC Bengaluru United was canceled on Thursday after COVID-19 positive cases were detected in the former's squad.

The match was scheduled to be played on Friday, September 24, at the Kalyani Stadium.

Following Army Red's withdrawal, FC Bengaluru United have got a passage into the semi-finals.

A statement from the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the Durand Cup confirmed the development. The statement added that all decisions were made keeping in mind the health and safety of players and officials.

Read: Durand Cup 2021: When and where to watch the quarter-final matches?

Meanwhile, I-League clubs Mohammedan SC and Gokulam Kerala FC will lock horns in one of the other three Durand Cup quarter-finals. FC Goa and Delhi FC will square off in another one while between Army Green and Bengaluru FC will take on each other in the last one.

FC Bengaluru confident of doing well in Durand Cup

The Durand Cup has offered FC Bengaluru United much-needed exposure, giving them the chance to compete against other high quality teams.

FC Bengaluru United head coach Richard Hood is a happy man and has termed the influence of Luka Majcen and Pedro Manzi on the team a huge one. He has hailed both players, calling them "through and through winners."

Also read: FC Bengaluru United coach Richard Hood wants to avoid complacency in the squad and ace knockouts of Durand Cup

Our boys faced off in a Foot-volley challenge! 🤸‍♂️⚽Here's a look at how it turned out! 🔴⚫Catch the full video⬇️youtu.be/44dP7zu6zi8#FCBU #WeAreUnited https://t.co/Beciq5l5Fe

The Durand Cup competition will now get tougher in the semifinals and Richard Hood knows his team cannot get complacent.

"Confidence is sky high right now," he said at a recent press conference. "The whole point is that we keep it going, and not get ahead of ourselves and not let any complacency slip in."

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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