Football: Bangladesh Army team reaches Kolkata for 132nd Durand Cup

Kolkata, July 29 (IANS) The Bangladesh Army football team, one of the two foreign teams to take part in the 132nd Durand Cup, arrived in the city on Saturday and was greeted with a warm welcome from the hosts.

The Bangladesh team is placed in Group A, which will be played in Kolkata and come up against local favourites Mohun Bagan Super Giant, in the very first match of the tournament on August 3, the organisers informed in a release on Saturday. Foreign teams have returned to the oldest existing club football tournament in Asia and the fifth[a] oldest national football competition in the world after a gap of 27 years.

The Bangladesh Army team, which is coached by Abdur Razaak, has a squad strength of 42 and is captained by Nurul Haque Shuvo. The team was flown to Kolkata after being picked up by an Indian Air Force C-130 from Dhaka.

They find themselves in a tough group along with another local giant East Bengal and newly promoted Indian Super League (ISL) side Roundglass Punjab FC.

What might work in their favour is that conditions and the buzz and noise from the stands might be similar to that at home and the fact that they play all their group games on August 3, 6 and 10 at the same Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) venue, the release informed.

Bangladesh Army have a strong squad of professional footballers as eight of them including the likes of Mehedi Hasan Mithu, Kamrul Islam and Minhaj Abedin Ballu, are on loan from Federation Cup champions Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting.

–IANS

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