Reigning I-League champions have been drawn with Mohun Bagan in the Federation Cup group stage draw held in Delhi on Thursday.
Ashley Westwood’s side made history last term as they won the I-League in their debut season and will also face Salgaocar FC, Pune FC, Shillong Lajong FC in Group B as they try to emulate Salgaocar FC by winning the Federation Cup in the following season after having triumphed in the I-League.
East Bengal, coached by Armando Colaco, will aim for their fourth title in six years and have been handed a relatively easier draw as they need to overcome last season’s finalists, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC, Dempo SC and Royal Wahingdoh in Group A.
The tournament will be kick-off on December 28, 2014 with the final being slated to take place on January 10th next year. While the Group A matches will take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao, the Tilak Maidan at Vasco will host the Group B games.
Interestingly, Churchill Brothers who were the winners of the Federation Cup last time around and aren't part of the competition due to having failed to fulfil the club licensing norms stipulated by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Also Kalyani Group who recently have been granted a direct berth into the I-League 2014-15 season will not participate in the Federation Cup.
Ankur Dutta, Vice-Chairman of the I-League and Federation Cup hoped that the competition will be a grand success.
“I’m confident the forthcoming edition of the Federation Cup will be a huge success. I also stay confident of full cooperation from all stakeholders in this regard. Football stays an integral part of Goa. This tournament will go a long way in further popularizing the sport in the country,” he said.
The final fixture stay as follows:
GROUP A (all matches to be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium): Mumbai FC, Royal Wahingdoh, Dempo FC, East Bengal, Sporting Clube de Goa.
December 28, 2014: Mumbai FC vs Royal Wahingdoh
December 29, 2014: Dempo vs East Bengal
December 30, 2014: Mumbai FC vs Sporting Clube de Goa
December 31, 2014: Royal Wahingdoh vs East Bengal
January 1, 2015: Dempo SC vs Sporting Clube de Goa
January 2, 2015: Mumbai FC vs East Bengal
January 3, 2015: Sporting Clube de Goa vs Royal Wahingdoh
January 4, 2015: Dempo SC vs Mumbai FC
January 5, 2015: East Bengal vs Sporting Clube de Goa
January 6, 2015: Royal Wahingdoh vs Dempo SC
GROUP B (all matches to be played at Tilak Maidan, Vasco): Bengaluru FC, Salgaocar FC, Pune FC, Shillong Lajong FC, Mohun Bagan.
December 28, 2014: Bengaluru FC vs Salgaocar SC
December 29, 2014: Pune FC vs Shillong Lajong FC
December 30, 2014: Bengaluru FC vs Mohun Bagan
December 31, 2014: Salgaocar SC vs Shillong Lajong FC
January 1, 2015: Pune FC vs Mohun Bagan
January 2, 2015: Bengaluru FC vs Shillong Lajong FC
January 3, 2015: Mohun Bagan vs Salgaocar SC
January 4, 2015: Pune FC vs Bengaluru FC
January 5, 2015: Shillong Lajong FC vs Mohun Bagan
January 6, 2015: Salgaocar SC vs Pune FC
Semifinals -- January 8, 2015 (Both matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao):
Semifinal 1: Winner Group A vs Runners-up Group B
Semifinal 2: Winners Group B vs Runners-up Group A
FINAL – January 10, 2015 (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium).