Bengaluru FC official website Durand Cup final offered as Blues clash with Hyderabad FC

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Simon Grayson keen to strike the right balance ahead of Indian Super League champions clash

Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson says his side are keen to take another step towards a first-ever Durand Cup final when they face reigning ISL champions Hyderabad FC at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata on Thursday. Bengaluru, who beat Odisha FC 2-1 in the quarter-finals, will face Indian Super League champions Manolo Marquez, who qualified for the last four with a 3-1 victory over the Rajasthan United FC.

“It will be a tough game against Hyderabad who are the team that won the Indian Super League last season. They are a very talented team with a good strike force who also have the top scorer last season (Bartholomew Ogbeche).While I am sure we will respect them on the pitch, we will continue to focus on ourselves and the problems we want to cause them,” Grayson said, speaking to the media.

A goal from Roy Krishna in the last minute of extra time sent the Blues over the line against Odisha FC while goals from Ogbeche, Akash Mishra and Javier Siverio gave Hyderabad FC 3-1 against Rajasthan United on Monday. When asked about the encounter, Grayson mentioned he was looking to strike the right balance in the fast approaching Indian Super League campaign.

“If there are going to be goals, we want to be the ones to score them. As in any game of football, if we defend our penalty area well and are clinical in attack, that gives us a fantastic chance to win and reach the final. As a group, we have been together for almost eight weeks and have worked hard on the training ground. There is a spirit in this team now and we are getting stronger physically and mentally. We want to be in able to find the right balance before the big picture, which is the ISL season,” Grayson added.

Nigerian striker Ogbeche is the visitors’ top scorer in the Durand Cup with five goals to his name, while Sivasakthi Narayanan’s strike against Odisha propelled him to the top of the Blues table with four.

Kick-off at VYBK is scheduled for 6 p.m., with broadcast on the Sports18 network and live streaming available on JioTV and VOOT.

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