ATK Mohun Bagan clubbed alongside Gokulam Kerala FC in 2022 AFC Cup group stage

ATK Mohun Bagan have been pitted alongside fellow Indian side Gokulam Kerala FC, Bangladesh side Bashundhara Kings and Maldives-based Maziya Sports and Recreation Club in Group D of the 2022 AFC Cup group stages.

The Mariners gatecrashed into the qualifiers of the continental event after finishing at the second spot in the league table of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL), in a season where Mumbai City FC claimed both the League Winners’ Shield and the ISL trophy.

The Mariners thrashed Sri Lanka’s Blue Star SC 5-0 in Preliminary round 2 of the 2022 AFC Cup qualifiers, while edging past Bangladesh’s Abahani Limited Dhaka to seal a berth for the main event.

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Maziya Sports and Recreation Club, by virtue of winning the local league last season, had already qualified for the group stages from the South Asian Zone, alongside reigning I-League winners Gokulam Kerala FC and 2020-21 Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings. ATK Mohun Bagan filled the fourth spot to complete Group D.

All the matches of the concerned group will be played at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata, from May 18. Each team will play each other once, with the toppers qualifying for the inter-zone play-off semi-finals while the rest will be eliminated from the competition.

ATK Mohun Bagan emerged as the best team in the group stages last term, having made the cut to the next round. But were shown the door in the inter-zone play-off semi-final by Uzbek side FC Nasaf with a humiliating 0-6 defeat. However, with the team better prepared, a better display is on cards this time around.

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