The Race to Asia – ACL, AFC CUP

One of the most interesting aspects of the Indian league season this term, has been how teams have gone all out for securing the AFC Cup.

In the ISL, it was always a 3 horse race from the very beginning between Bengaluru FC, ATK and FC Goa. With Bengaluru having lost out on a top 2 finish after an away loss to Kerala Blasters and ATK 3 points behind the Gaurs with one match to go, its FC Goa’s chance to loose to become the first Indian Club to compete in Asia’s Elite Club competetion. ATKFC on the other hand will hope for Goa to loose in their final league engagement and will themselves look to register full points against BFC, to take the coveted spot. BFC though can still qualify for Asia next season in case they win the AFC Cup this time or any of ATKMohun Bagan or FC Goa fail to clear the licensing test.

In the I League, where Mohun Bagan are champions elect, things are shaping up in a different manner. With ATKMB set to take the AFC spot awarded to the ISL ,its likely that the I League runners up with get an Asian slot. With numbers 2 to 9 separated by just 8 points and many teams with matches in hand , things have started getting exciting. Punjab FC, Real Kashmir and Churchill Brothers are best placed to take the spot while other teams will look to catch up.

Exciting times ahead !


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