Sports

Hyderabad FC meet Assam rifles in their Durand Cup opener

Hyderabad, August 25 (IANS) Excited to debut in the historic 130th edition of the Durand Cup, Indian Super League (ISL) side Hyderabad FC start their campaign with a showdown against Assam Rifles on September 12 at the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata.

Hyderabad FC will also face the winners in 2019 and the defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC and then Army Red in Group D.

Back in Kolkata after a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic, the 2021 edition of the Durand Cup, starting September 5, is the world’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest existing football tournament. This year it will be played at three venues in Kolkata – Mohun Bagan Ground, VYBK Salt Lake Stadium and Kalyani Stadium.

The Hyderabad FC squad that will take part in the tournament will consist of a mix of first team players along with youngsters from HFC’s reserve side.

Team assistant coach and technical director (youth) Thangboi Singto along with reserve team head coach Shameel Chembakath will lead the team during the competition. The players have already been in training under the duo’s supervision for the past week to prepare for the competition.

Hyderabad FC will be one of five ISL clubs along with FC Goa, Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC, who will take part in this year’s competition. Participation in them is three I-League clubs, two Second Division League sides and six teams representing Indian Services.

The 16 teams are divided into four groups, with the two best teams qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.

Following their opening against Assam Rifles, Hyderabad FC take on Gokulam Kerala (September 16) in Kalyani before meeting Army Red (September 19) at Salt Lake Stadium.

–IANS

cs / akm

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