Indian football update: It’s an uphill battle for Kerala Blasters in Kalinga Super Cup

With a loss to Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters’ woes in the Kalinga Super Cup keep mounting.

Published : Jan 17, 2024 09:24 IST - 2 MINS READ

Target in sight: Jamshedpur FC’s Manzorro in action against Kerala Blasters FC in their Kalinga Super Cup clash.
Target in sight: Jamshedpur FC’s Manzorro in action against Kerala Blasters FC in their Kalinga Super Cup clash. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT
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Target in sight: Jamshedpur FC’s Manzorro in action against Kerala Blasters FC in their Kalinga Super Cup clash. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

With the cream of the Indian players away —13 players from both Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Mumbai City FC — in Doha for the Asian Cup, Kerala Blasters had a great opportunity to land its first-ever silverware.

But the ISL table-topper seems to have squandered it after a narrow loss to Jamshedpur FC in the Kalinga Super Cup.

With only the group topper group progressing to the semifinals, the Blasters, who are missing two players themselves, will need a miracle to leapfrog Jamshedpur, to make the last four. The competition winner will also be awarded a play-off spot in the 2024-25 AFC Champions League 2 — the second-tier AFC club competition.

The remaining groups promise an exciting finish as the leading ISL teams compete for a place in the final four. Group A features the Kolkata Derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. However, the four I-League entrants — Gokulam Kerala, Sreenidi Deccan, Shillong Lajong, and Inter Kashi — have not performed well in the tournament so far.

Indian Women’s League

The IWL received a huge boost with star Bangladesh striker and captain Sabina Khatun signing up for Kickstart FC this month. This marks Sabina’s second stint in the IWL after the title-winning campaign with Sethu FC in 2018-19.

Kickstart will be hoping that the 30-year-old can have a similar impact with the club trailing behind league-topper Odisha FC by two points after four matches. The January 24 face-off between the two teams will now be an anticipated clash between these two teams.

East Bengal has also strengthened its squad in the winter transfer window with the addition of Bangladesh forward Sanjida Akhter.

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