AFC Cup 2021: ATK Mohun Bagan or Bengaluru FC could face FC Nasaf or FC Ahal in the knockout stage
ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC are set to begin their AFC Cup journey in the coming weeks in the Maldives, here are their possible opponents in the knockout stage
Indian Super League clubs ATK Mohun Bagan FC and Bengaluru FC are set to begin their AFC Cup campaign in the Maldives from the third week of August. Both the clubs planned an extended pre-season for the tournament, and are at their respective training bases to prepare for the competition.
Bengaluru FC will play Club Eagles of the Maldives, in the final playoffs on 15th August, and the winner proceeds to the south zone group stage. The South Zone group stage comprises of ATK Mohun Bagan from India, Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh, and Club Maziya from Maldives.
The Mariners from Kolkata and the Blues from Bengaluru both have a good chance of making it into the knockout stage of the competition and finish above the club from Bangladesh and Maldives. The draws of the Inter Zone Semi-finals are out, and the winner of the group will play either Ahal FC or FC Nasaf.
Ahal FC is a Turkmen professional association football club based in the Änew, Ahal Province. The club was founded in 1989 and has played in the top-flight league of Turkmenistan since 1992. The club has won the Turkmenistan Cup thrice in their history, and have been a regular at the AFC Cup since 2015.
FC Nasaf is a professional football club based in Qarshi (Qashqadaryo Region), Uzbekistan, and currently competes in the Uzbekistan Super League.The club was founded 335 years ago in 1986 and has been a super power in Uzbekistan in the last decade.
The club has won numerous trophies but most importantly won the AFC Cup in 2011. The club has been a regular in the AFC Champions League in the last ten six years, and return to the AFC Cup after winning it in 2011.
Both BFC and ATKMB will have a good opportunity to showcase how much both the teams want to win at the continental stage. The AFC Cup begins on 15th August 2021, when BFC play Club Eagles, while ATK Mohun Bagan face the winner of the match between BFC and Club Eagles on 18th August, in the first group stage match of the South Zone.