Ahmedabad Racquet Academy Football Club (ARA FC) will take on Bengaluru United in the third round of the I-League 2nd Division match on their home ground Eka Arena by TransStadia, Maninagar on Thursday. Both the teams have won their respective opening two matches and will be eager for snatch the top position.
It will be third successive match home game for Shashi Kumar- led ARA FC. ARA FC is placed in Group C comprising FC Goa (Reserves), Kerala Blasters FC Reserves, FC Bengaluru United, Mumbai City FC Reserves and FC Kerala.
Battle of the table toppers, on Thursday, will be exciting and test the skills of players of both the teams. Bengaluru also have two wins from equal number of outings. In fact both the wins have come in away matches.
From the home team point of view, eyes will be on Captain Shashi Kumar, Shiva Kumar and midfielder Prabin Tigga. The trio has had played in the Bengaluru League and are acquainted with the playing style of Bengaluru United.
“We are not taking Bengaluru team for granted. At the same time after two wins, boys are very upbeat and ready for a thrilling contest. Moreover, Shashi, Prabin, Shiva and also goalkeeper Iprotip Das have experience of playing in a Bengaluru League. I am sure that will come handy for us,” remarked Vivek Nagul, coach ARA FC.
Custodian of ARA FC, Irpotip Das has been a revelation inside the box area. The young goalie has displayed the qualities of Bengali goalkeeper. “Iprotip stood like a wall against FC Kerala. The match could have ended in a draw, but his two saves ensured we maintain clean sheet. Those three points were very important and has lifted the morale of all players,” said Nagul and in the same breathe added, “Of course defenders like Shashi and Shiva have given equal contribution. They have managed to arrest the aggression of opposition strikers.”
Moreover, ARA strikers striking the form early in the League, has given enough reasons for the fans to rejoice. Shoaib Syed has been on a goal-scoring spree with assistance coming from either of the flanks. Shoaib has a hat-trick to his name, which came in the first match against Mumbai City FC. Hamidou Dieye has also hit back of the net in both the matches.
GK: Iprotip Das, Shubham Chauhan, Prathamesh Honawarkar
Defenders: Surojit Seal, Sagar Ali, Sashi Kumar, Rajvir Singh, Royal Waskar, Daniel Mutthu, Shiva Kumar, Qais Khan
Midfielders: Celvin Barreto, Aditya Jha, Suresh Babu, Jordan Fernandes, Austin Jijo, Pravin Tigga, Shoaib Syed
Wingers: Musa Saiyyed, Yunus Saiyyed, Ayan Shaikh, Gagandeep Singh, Kartik Govind Swami
Forwards: Hamidou Dieye, Sourav Sharma, Parminder Singh, Rahul Paswan
Coach: Vivek Nagul
Kick-off: 3 pm
Date: 6 February 2020
Venue: Eka Arena by TransStadia, Maninagar Ahmedabad.