Thu, Mar


With a staggering eight goals in three matches, Marcus Joseph is flying high.

Having almost single-handedly guided Kerala FC into the Durand Cup semifinals, the Trinidad & Tobago striker has his sights set firmly on the trophy.

Kerala FC topped Group D by winning all three matches, and will face mighty East Bengal in the first semifinal at Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday.

"It feels great that my team is in the semifinals. I'm proud of my effort, but not just me, everyone has contributed to the team's success. The morale in the group is very high and we are ready for any challenge. But we need to focus on the job if we are to bag the title," Joseph told TOI on Monday.

The 28-year-old scored a hat-trick against Chennaiyin FC in Kerala FC's opener, followed by a brace against Indian Air Force. Three more against TRAU FC on Sunday in their final group-league fixture helped Kerala FC skipper Joseph climb atop the Durand scorers' chart.

"The important thing is that we won all our matches… I was able to score some good goals and my confidence is very high," Joseph warned.

He is unfazed at the prospect of facing heavyweights East Bengal, who also qualified by winning all their three matches in Group A.

"I don't see East Bengal as a big threat because in life you always face challenges. It doesn't mean that I don't respect them, they are a good team. But it will depend on how it goes on match day… may the better team win."

Asked if he backed himself to go for a hat-trick of hat-tricks to silence the home fans, Joseph said, "I don't plan on scoring hat-tricks. I try my best to get into the scoresheet in every match and help my club win every time we play. Expectations are high, but you don't know what will happen. Even if any of my teammates score and we make the final, I will be extremely happy."

Joseph, who has 12 international caps, praised fellow-Trinidadian Daneil Cyrus, who recently signed for Mohun Bagan.

"Yes I know Daneil very well. He is a good friend of mine. We played together for our national team at the youth level. He is a very good defender," Joseph signed off.

SOURCE: Times of India