Spaniard Salvo Chamorro scored a brace as Mohun Bagan started the 129th Durand Cup with a 2-0 victory over Mohammedan Sporting at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday.
Chamorro headed in a free-kick from compatriot Joseba Beitia for his first goal and nodded in another from a through ball by Ashutosh Mehta, giving their Spanish coach Kibu Vicuna a perfect debut.
Mohammedan Sporting’s best chance came just before the half-time, but Shilton Paul pulled off a brilliant save to deny Ivorian forward Arthur Kouassi.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated the Durand Cup amid a heavy downpour on Friday.
It is to be noted that the Durand Cup, world’s third and Asia’s oldest football tournament, has returned after a gap of three years.
However, given the tussle going on in the All India Football Federation between the I-League clubs and Indian Super League (ISL), Durand Cup comes as a refresher in which teams from both the leagues will play alongside each other.
The tournament features 16 teams from the I-League, ISL and the defence services divided into four groups vouching for the glory.
The tournament will be played at five venues across the state of West Bengal, with three in Kolkata, one in Kalyani and the other in Siliguri. The semi-finals will be played on 21 August with the final at the Salt Lake Stadium on 24 August 2019.
Here’s the list of 16 participating teams:
Group A- East Bengal, Army Red, Jamshedpur FC, Bengaluru FC
Group B- Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting, ATK, Indian Navy
Group C- Chennai City FC, Real Kashmir, FC Goa, Army Green
Group D- Chennaiyin FC, Gokulam Kerala, TRAU FC, Indian Air Force
(With inputs from IANS)