Odisha FC To Start Durand Cup Campaign Against North-East United FC On 17th August

Bhubaneswar:  The oldest football tournament in Asia known as Durand Cup, to begin on 16th August. This is the 131st edition of the marquee event. This will be the first edition that will be played after recognition from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). For the first time in its history, the tournament is being held in multiple cities.West Bengal, Assam and Manipur are hosting the Durand Cup 2022.

This edition will feature 20 teams including the 11 Indian Super League (ISL) teams that were mandated to participate in the tournament. Apart from the ISL clubs, the tournament will also feature five teams from the second division, I-League and four traditional teams from the Indian Armed Forces. The 20 teams will be divided into four groups of five teams each. In the group stage, each team will play the four other teams in a single round-robin fixture. The two table-toppers will then proceed to the quarterfinal.

Team Odisha FC is all set to make their debut in the Durand Cup 2022. The Juggernauts, under head coach Josep Gombau, will be playing in the Group D of the tournament along with North East United FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Sudeva Delhi FC and Army Green FT. The Kalinga Warriors will begin its campaign with a clash against fellow ISL side, North East United FC, on August 17 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati.

The team will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing campaign in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) last season. There will be a lot of expectations after the club invested heavily in the transfer market since the arrival of Josep Gombau.

The Spaniard Gombau had a great spell with Odisha FC two seasons ago. The Juggernauts didn’t reach the semi-finals under him but played some eye-catching football and were at their competitive best. Gombau has now returned at the helm at Odisha FC with an unfinished business which is to take Odisha FC to the semi-finals of the Hero ISL and maybe even beyond.

With additions like Diego Mauricio, Osama Malik, Saul Crespo, Pedro Martin, Narender Gehlot, Raynier Fernandes and Victor Rodriguez, the Juggernauts look like a very formidable outfit. Gombau has suggested that they would want to win every trophy available to them and would be a force to be reckoned with in group D.

Durand Cup 2022 Venues:

Kolkata: 27 Matches across Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) and Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK).

Imphal: 10 matches in Khuman Lampak Stadium (KLS).

Guwahati: 10 matches in Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium (IGAS).

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