New AFC Cup dates for ATK Mohun Bagan out; Bengaluru FC line up on August 15 for their play-off
The long wait is at last over for 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) finalists ATK Mohun Bagan and 2018-19 champions Bengaluru FC as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced the dates for their AFC Cup matches. The Mariners, under Antonio Lopez Habas, will feature in Group D (South Zone), while the Blues, under new head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli, line up against Maldivian side Club Eagles for a place in the same group.
Bengaluru FC will play their play-off tie on August 15. The Group D-South Zone action, meanwhile, will take place on three matchdays (August 18, 21 and 24). The play-off as well as the group matches will be played in Maldives.
“India's Bengaluru FC, the 2016 AFC Cup runners-up, will take on Maldives’ Club Eagles on August 15 in the playoff match, with the winners joining India’s ATK Mohun Bagan FC, Maziya Sports & Recreation from Maldives, and 2020-21 Bangladesh Federation Cup winners Bashundhara Kings in Group D,” the-afc.com wrote.
“The AFC Cup (South) Group D matches will be held across three match days on August 18, 21 and 24, with the eventual group leaders advancing to the single-leg Inter Zone Semi-final,” the AFC’s official website added.
If Bengaluru FC qualify for the group stage, it will be fellow Hero ISL side ATK Mohun Bagan they will be facing in their first Group D-South Zone game on August 18. Thereafter ATK Mohun Bagan will go on to play Maziya Sports & Recreation and Bashundhara Kings on August 21 and August 24 respectively.
It may be noted these AFC Cup ties were originally scheduled to happen in May earlier this year in Male (Maldives) but on account of the coronavirus pandemic they had to be postponed indefinitely.