Riding on two goals from Liton Shil, Army Red overcame Hyderabad FC to enter the quarterfinals of the Durand Cup 2021. In a virtual knockout encounter, the regimental side triumphed 2-1 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday.
Army Red will face FC Bengaluru United in the last eight after joining fellow armed forces team, Army Green, in the quarterfinals.
In a tightly-contested game, Liton opened the scoring in the 32nd minute for his second goal of the tournament. Army Red had barely finished celebrating before the young Hyderabad FC side equalized.
Midfielder Koustav Dutta, who has been impressive with his range of passing, brought his side level. His long-range effort found the bottom corner.
The sides went into the half-time break level at 1-1. It was Hyderabad who needed to win this game to qualify, unlike Army Red, for whom a draw would have been enough.
After some good attacking football from both sides, it was Army Red who went ahead a second time. A well-worked move was finished off by Liton and that proved to be the winning goal.
Indian Navy could join Army Red & Army Green in the quarters
Army Red and Army Green have proved that regimental sides can be competitive against the professional teams. Another one of them, the Indian Navy, could yet join them in the last eight if they beat Bengaluru FC on Tuesday.
Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, will feel a little hard done by as their performances did not warrant a group stage exit. They came to the Durand Cup with a young team and played some good, technical football.
It would not be surprising if some of their standout players from this squad get some minutes in the ISL this season. Those names include Lalchungnunga Chhangte and Koustav Das.