After three back-to-back victories in the group stage of the Durand Cup 2022 campaign, Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC tasted their first defeat, as they lost 1-0 to Army Red FT, in their final group game at the Khuman Lampak Stadium here 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 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 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, the club informed in a release on Saturday.
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 and NEORCA will decide the second qualifier from the group.
HFC are back in action in the Durand Cup quarterfinals, the dates and venues yet to be announced.