On Wednesday, the Hero Santosh Cup, the oldest Indian football tournament, which is being hosted by Saudi Arabia for the first time, will start with the participation of four teams, “Punjab, Megyala, Service and Karnataka”, during the period from 1 to 4 March, at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. Organized by the Saudi Football Federation.
The two semi-final matches will be played on Wednesday at King Fahd International Stadium, where the Punjab team will meet its counterpart Megayala at three in the afternoon, while the second semi-final match will be played between the Service and Karnataka teams at six thirty in the evening.
The delegations of the four teams arrived in Riyadh, on Monday, in preparation for participating in the tournament, which will continue until the fourth of next March.
The coaches of the four teams held a press conference, on Tuesday, to talk about the two semi-final matches, as Harbert Saini, coach of the Punjab team, thanked the Saudi Football Association for hosting the tournament, noting that this edition will be exceptional as it is organized for the first time outside India.
He added that his team has been striving for the coronation of an absence for 15 years, which gave the team strong motivation and preparation before the tournament, although most of the team’s elements are young players who may face pressure during matches due to their lack of experience.
On the other hand, Khalian, coach of the Megayala team, confirmed the difficulty of the confrontation against Punjab, who has a great history in the tournament, pointing out that he had prepared well for this match.
Khalian praised the atmosphere in Saudi Arabia, especially in terms of the weather, which is similar to the weather in the state in which the team resides, which gives the team an advantage in tomorrow’s match, indicating that this tournament will be an opportunity to hone the experiences of the young players in the team.
Service team coach Ramachandran began his speech by praising the Saudi national team’s performance in the 2022 World Cup, expressing his pride as an “Asian” for what Al-Akhdar presented in the World Cup.
Ramachandr confirmed his team’s readiness for the tournament, as he said: The team won the last 5 matches it played before coming to Riyadh, which he considered a good indicator before the semi-final match tomorrow.
On the other hand, Ravi Raju, coach of the Kanataka team, thanked the Saudi Football Association for hosting the tournament, as well as the good reception that the team’s mission received.
Raju expressed his hope that the team would return to the podiums after an absence of 50 years, noting that the young age of his players gives them an incentive to work in order to achieve the championship.
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