Keen action on cards in final group matches

With just one set of group fixtures to go before the knockout phase of the Federation Cup, the permutations in Group ‘B’ make for some fascinating reading.

The group consists of I-League table-toppers Bengaluru FC (4 points) in first place with Sporting Clube de Goa (3) in second. Rangdajied have two points with East Bengal bringing up the rear with a point.

But all four teams can still incredibly qualify for the next phase. BFC face East Bengal on January 21 and will qualify for the knock-out phase if they win their encounter irrespective of what happens between Sporting and Rangdajied. For both Sporting and Rangdajied to progress, they need to beat the other and hope that BFC don’t beat East Bengal.

For the Kolkata giants to progress, they need to take down BFC by a minimum of a couple of goals and hope that Sporting and Rangdajied draw.

With just the top team from each Group qualifying for the two semifinals, there are some vital matches in the other groups as well.

Group ‘A’ has already been sorted with Churchill Brothers (6) already having qualified for the semifinals. Even if United SC, who are on three points, beat Eagles FC, they can only finish in second place as they lost against Churchill on the first matchday.

As per the competition rules, in case two teams finish level on points, the result of their head to head clash is taken into account to decide the topper. Pune FC were one of the favourites for the competition but they have only managed one point thus far.
Mohun Bagan (6) are well-placed in Group C thanks to their big win over Shillong Lajong on Saturday and they will qualify if they can secure a point against Mumbai FC on Tuesday. 

The clash of the third round arguably is between Dempo and Mohammedan Sporting, who both have six points. In the case of a draw, Dempo will go through because of having a superior goal difference – plus four compared to Mohammedans plus three.

Monday’s games: Group ‘A’: Churchill Brothers vs Pune FC, United SC vs Eagles SC. Group ‘D’: Bhawanipore FC vs United Sikkim FC, Dempo SC vs Mohammedan Sporting.

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