ATK Mohun Bagan to face Sri Lankan side Blue Star SC in AFC Cup Playoffs
Finishing second last year in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season, the Mariners booked a berth in the AFC Cup Playoffs, and will face Sri Lankan side Blue Star SC in the Preliminary Round two at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
Champions of the Sri Lankan Super League 2021-22 season, Blue Star are led by Sri Lankan head coach Banda Samarakoon. The team edged past Nepali side Machhindra FC 2-1 in the first round of the playoffs and face off against the Indian heavyweights in the second round.
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The Mariners finished third in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season and were beaten in the semi-finals by eventual champions Hyderabad FC.
Juan Ferrando who took charge of the team in mid-season will look to put up a strong show in the AFC Cup after the disappointment in the Hero ISL.
ATK Mohun Bagan will have to take a long route to the AFC Cup group stage. If they manage to get past Blue Star SC they will have to beat the winner of the other playoff tie between Abahani Limited Dhaka and Club Valencia of Maldives to reach the group stage where they will be placed in Group D alongside Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh, Maziya of Maldives and Hero I-League champions Gokulam Kerala.