New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): Indian Super League (ISL) champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant will begin their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023-24 quest in the preliminary stage round two on August 15, 2023, against the winners between Nepal’s Machhindra FC and Bhutan’s Paro FC in the South Zone of the competition.
The Mariners sealed their AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round berth after beating Hyderabad FC 3-1 on penalties in the Hero Club Playoffs held in Kerala in May, as per a press release from ISL.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant are the third Indian team to qualify on the continental stage alongside Mumbai City FC who will feature in the AFC Champions League and Odisha FC who have made their way to the group stage of the AFC Cup.
The Juan Ferrando-led side will look to draw inspiration from their triumphant ISL 2022-23 season and eye a step further in the continental competition after bowing out in the quarter-finals last season.
After getting past Sri Lankan side Blue Star SC and Bangladeshi side Abahani Limited, the Green and Maroons were drawn into Group D alongside fellow I-League side Gokulam Kerala FC, Bangladeshi side Bashundhara Kings, and Maldivian team Maziya S&RC in the AFC Cup 2022-23.
After going down 4-2 in their opening match against Gokulam Kerala FC, the Mariners fought back and won their remaining matches to top their group. Pitted alongside Malaysian side Kuala Lumpur City FC in the Inter-Zonal playoff round, the side lost 1-3 at home to the eventual finalists.
With the addition of new players in the 2022-23 season and a potential addition of several other players in the summer transfer window, the Spaniard Ferrando will be aiming for nothing less than success on the continental stage. The side will be banking on the foreign company of Dimitri Petratos, Hugo Boumous, and Brendan Hamill to deliver the goods alongside the national crop of Ashique Kuruniyan, Asish Rai, and Vishal Kaith.