Durand Cup 2022, Group A preview: Defending champions FC Goa locked in a tough pool with Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC

FC Goa will head into the 131st edition of the Durand Cup as defending champions, with their sights set on securing the season’s first silverware.

The Indian football season has got longer with more matches and tournaments for the players with the Durand Cup getting things started. For the first time, all eleven Hero Indian Super League (ISL) clubs will participate in this tournament, the oldest football competition in Asia.

Providing them competition will be fellow Hero ISL sides Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC. The Blues will be looking to add the Durand Cup to their trophy cabinet as it’s one of the few trophies missing from their list of accoldaes. As for the Red Miners, they will be looking to add this prestigious old trophy to their kitty after having bagged the League Winners’ Shield last year.

Mohammedan who will enjoy home advantage in this tournament and Indian Air Force complete Group A.

Group A teams

Sr No

Teams

1

Bengaluru FC

2

FC Goa

3

Indian Air Force

4

Jamshedpur FC

5

Mohammedan

Group A Fixtures

Date

Time

Match

Venue

August 16, 2022

7 PM IST

Mohammedan vs FC Goa

Kolkata

August 17, 2022

2:30 PM IST

Jamshedpur FC vs Bengaluru FC

Kolkata

August 19, 2022

3 PM IST

FC Goa vs Indian Air Force

Kolkata

August 21, 2022

6 PM IST

Mohammedan vs Jamshedpur FC

Kolkata

August 23, 2022

6 PM IST

Bengaluru FC vs Indian Air Force

Kolkata

August 26, 2022

6 PM IST

Jamshedpur FC vs FC Goa

Kolkata

August 27, 2022

3 PM IST

Mohammedan vs Indian Air Force

Kolkata

August 30, 2022

6 PM IST

Bengaluru FC vs FC Goa

Kolkata

September 1, 2022

6 PM IST

Jamshedpur FC vs Indian Air Force

Kolkata

September 2, 2022

6 PM IST

Mohammedan vs Bengaluru FC

Kolkata

Talking points

Bengaluru FC: Roy Krishna in blue

While the Blues will be focused on bringing the cup home and further enriching their trophy cabinet, all eyes would be on Roy Krishna who will return to Kolkata but in the blue of Bengaluru FC. The Fijian striker joined the Blues having left ATK Mohun Bagan and will look to get into the goalscoring habit in the Durand Cup. His partnership with Sunil Chhetri will also be one to look out for.

It will be the first time that Bengaluru FC will feature under head coach Simon Grayson and the Durand Cup is sure to give us an early glimpse into what their playing style under the Englishman will look like.

FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC: More youngsters on show

Title defence will be on the minds of the FC Goa players and the club have placed faith in their young side to achieve that goal. Led by Deggie Cardozo, FC Goa will feature just four first-team players that include Muhammed Nemil who was a find of the Durand Cup last season. The Gaurs will hope to have more youngsters ready to join the first team at the end of this tournament.

Jamshedpur FC will also be fielding their reserve team in the tournament and they will be coached by Noel Wilson. The Red Miners afforded plenty of game time to young players in the Hero ISL last season and the Durand Cup is being used as an opportunity to test more young players from their academy as new first-team head coach Aidy Boothroyd will watch on with keen eyes.

Mohammedan: Banking on home advantage

With all games in Kolkata, Mohammedan will enjoy home advantage in Group A and the I-League side will look to use it to their advantage against the Hero ISL outfits. Indian Air Force are the other team in the group and like all armed forces teams will test the Hero ISL sides with their strong fitness levels and tactical discipline.

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