After three back-to-back victories in the Group Stage of the Durand Cup campaign, Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC tasted their first defeat, as they lost 0-1 to Army Red FT, in their final group game here at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Saturday.
Suresh Methei, the skipper of the Services’ side scored with a glancing header in the 33rd minute, which turned out to be the only goal on a tough evening in Imphal.
Manolo Marquez made plenty of changes to the Starting XI but Hyderabad managed to create plenty of chances throughout the game.
The likes of Halicharan Narzary, Lalchungnunga Chhangte, Borja Herrera, Aaren D’Silva and Javi Siverio, coming off the bench, all came close on a fair-few occasions, but HFC failed to find the back of the net for the first time in this campaign.
Bhabindra Sureshi, the shot-stopper for Army Red FT was at the top of his game, as he made five superb saves to deny HFC throughout the evening. His contribution to helping Army Red to their first win of the campaign, saw him named the ‘Player of the Match’ on the evening.
Even with the loss, Hyderabad remain atop Group C with nine points from their four games while Army Red move up to 2nd in the table as of now, with five points from their four games. The result of the final group game between Chennaiyin FC and NEROCA will decide the second qualifier from the group.
Hyderabad FC are back in action in the Durand Cup Quarterfinal, with the dates and venues yet to be announced.