The Federation Cup 2017 football competition in India has almost taken the status of the Champions League. Four of the best teams in Indian football, known today, have made it to the semi-finals of the competition.
Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will not be competing in the final of the tournament, as they are scheduled to face each other in the last four of the competition on Sunday. The other battle pits former I-League champions Bengaluru FC against defending I-League champions Aizawl FC.
If we may recall, it was Aizawl FC who knocked out BFC from the Federation Cup last year, which came as a shock to several Indian football fans. Can history repeat itself?
Although it might sound weird, Aizawl indeed enters the semi-final match against BFC as the favourites. Albert Roca's side, meanwhile, received their biggest blow on Friday as Sunil Chhetri suffered a muscle injury which not only has ended his season for BFC but also gives national coach Stephen Constantine a major worry ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
The sweltering heat in Odisha at the moment and the inhuman 4 pm kick-offs at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack is steadily taking a toll on the players.
Kolkata derby 3.0
Meanwhile, Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are battling it out for the third time this season, and it is the Mariners who have the advantage. Can the Red-and-Golds level the head-to-head record now?
While their first clash in I-League 2017 in February turned out to be a goalless draw, Mohun Bagan won the second leg match 2-1; the day Azharuddin Mallick became a hero.
Defending champions of the Federation Cup, Mohun Bagan played out a 1-1 draw against BFC on Friday, to top their group.
Fed Cup 2017 semifinals schedule
|Date||Team A||Team B||Time||Venue|
|May 14||Aizawl FC||Bengaluru FC||4 pm IST||Barabati Stadium, Cuttack|
|May 14||Mohun Bagan||East Bengal||7 pm IST||Barabati Stadium, Cuttack|
TV coverage: Ten 2 (India)
Live stream: Sony Liv