History awaits ONGC in Durand Cup final

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) History awaits ONGC as the former I-League club takes on 1940 Durand Cup winners Mohammedan Sporting in the final of the 126th edition of the tournament here Thursday.

ONGC, a club founded in 2006, has only the I-League Division 2 title against its name and will pin hopes of winning the first major title.

On the other hand, Sporting have won the competition once in 1940 here, becoming the first Indian team to win the world's third oldest football tournament which started in 1888 and stood runners-up thrice - 1959, 1980 and 1992.

On form, Sporting start favourites with Nigerian Penn Irechukwv playing a sterling role. Sporting had beaten Mumbai Tigers 3-1 in the semi-finals.

ONGC have had to fight hard to progress and just about made it to the final after eking out a 1-0 win over the hugely impressive Indian Navy.

It will be a match that would pit ONGC's defence against the Sporting attack. Defender Adedla Hassan has played a key role in ONGC's fortunes. His defending and positioning has bailed his team out on more than one occasion.

Sporting have had Ajay Singh and Irechukwv working wonders up front but the defence has looked fragile. Their Brazilian defender Luciano Soares has surprisingly looked out of depth and his form will be a cause of concern.

Kick off time: 17:30 (IST)

Likely squads:

Mohammedan Sporting: Dhanaranjan, Sandeep Sangha, Antony Soren, Ajay Singh, Penn Irechukwv, Collin Abranches, Luciano Soarosa, Gagandeep Singh, Somnath Khara, Phoolchand Hembram, Jerry ZIrsangha, Imran Khan, Sukhwinder Singh, Josimar da Silva, Tolgay Ozbey, Samson Ramagawia

ONGC: Parwinder Singh, Sachin Gawas, Jatin Bisht, Henry Ezeh, Lavino Fernandes, Asim Hassan, V. Lalchhuanawma, Sachin Basomatar, Adedla Hassan, Bilfand Narzary, Agnelo Gomes, Kunal Ghosh, Fania Lalmuanpuia, Tarif Ahmad, Bial Minj, Diljith R.P., Kamaluddin Khan


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