Bengaluru FC take on Salgaocar in Federation Cup opener
Reigning I-League champions Bengaluru FC will start their campaign against Durand Cup champions and local giants Salgaocar in the opening encounter of the 36th Federation Cup football tournament that gets underway at Vasco's Tilak Maidan.
Margao: Reigning I-League champions Bengaluru FC will start their campaign against Durand Cup champions and local giants Salgaocar in the opening encounter of the 36th Federation Cup football tournament that gets underway at Vasco's Tilak Maidan.
In another match, Mumbai FC will face Royal Wahingdoh FC in anorther group league match at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, later in the evening.
Goa last hosted the Federation Cup tournament a decade back in 2004, which eventually turned out to be a grand success with a sold-out final.
However the biggest challenge for Goa Football Association (GFA), local organisers of the blue-riband will be to sustain the interest that has been generated after a successful first edition of Indian Super League.
The winners will get a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh while the runners-up will get richer by Rs 15 lakh.
In addition, Rs 10,000 will be awarded to the man-of-the-match recipents and Rs 1 lakh for the 'Player of the Tournament'.
Churchill Brothers will not be defending their title as they have failed to meet AIFF's Club Licensing criteria earlier this year.
Salgaocar SC started the season with a bang winning Durand Cup and local League are now looking forward to win the third title before the I-League start next month.
Both the teams have played in the Durand Cup and Salgaocar FC have beaten them in the semi-finals via tie-breaker and are looking to repeat the same tomorrow against them.
They will be fielding the same side that played against them in the Durand Cup except their keeper Karanjit Singh who is out of action for two months due to hamstring injury.
They have roped in Subrata Paul, who did not do well in the ISL for Mumbai City and would expect to regain some form in the tournament.
"The Federation Cup is one of the more important tournaments in the country and we will look to get off to a good start. Playing at home, in front of your fans is always a positive and we will hopefully go a long way in the tournament," Salgaocar coach Derrick Pereira said.
He also said that it's their regular captain and India international Karanjit Singh's injury that prompted them to rope in Paul.
"The unfortunate injury to captain Karanjit only two weeks prior to the tournament was indeed a setback. However, we have managed to acquire the services of Subrata Paul.
"Defender Francis Kasonde is still recovering from an injury suffered against Bengaluru FC in the Durand Cup and looks a doubtful starter for tomorrow. Other than that, the rest of the squad is fit and raring to go" stated Pereira.