Cuttack: East Bengal will take on Churchill Brothers in the opening match of the Hero Federation Cup here on Sunday while newly crowned I-League Champions Aizawl FC will lock horns with Chennai City FC later in the day.
Groups for the Hero Federation Cup have been chalked out based on a respective Team's position in the final Hero I- league table.
Aizawl FC, Kingfisher East Bengal, Churchill Brothers FC Goa and Chennai City FC comprise Group A while Mohun Bagan, Shillong Lajong, Bengaluru FC and DSK Shivajians make up Group B.
Top two Teams from each group will progress to the semi- finals which are slated to kick-off on May 14.
Head Coach of defending Champions Mohun Bagan, who begin their campaign against DSK Shivajians on Monday, Sanjoy Sen said, "We have been drawn in a competitive group and we will look forward to facing a tough fight from every Team. There is pressure when you are the defending Champions, but that is Football."
Khalid Jamil of Aizawl FC stated, "Every Tournament is different but we will try to win the Championship, as will every Team. It is an interesting group and we will see how it fares out."
JSW Bengaluru FC's Albert Roca said, "Each Team will prove to be a challenge in itself. We aim to stay positive and take one match at a time."
Thangboi Singto of Shillong Lajong said, "It is a tough group that we are pitted in. We will hope to give every opponent a tough fight. In Football you win some you lose some, but what matters is the heart, and we will play with it."