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Games to watch in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024

The Kolkata derby and replay of the last edition’s final are exciting fixtures to look at in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024. Here we take a look at the notable games to watch in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024.

Last updated: 27.12.2023
Games to watch in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024

The men’s football leagues in Indian Football, both ISL and I-League, will take a break in January 2024 due to the Asian Cup taking place in Qatar. However, club football will continue in the form of the Super Cup. Rebranded as the Kalinga Super Cup, it will kick-start 2024 for Indian Football using the Asian Cup break. This time the cup competition will be a mid-season rather than hosted at the end of the campaign like previous editions.

A total of 16 clubs will take part in the Super Cup divided into four groups. All 12 sides from ISL will be competing in the tournament and five I-league teams who expressed interest. The draw for the Super Cup resulted in interesting groups with some exciting fixtures to grasp. With only the winners making it to the semi-finals, these fixtures could go on to decide the faith of the teams in their group. The winner of the Kalinga Super Cup 2024 will qualify for AFC Champions League 2.     


Here we take a look at the notable games to watch in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024:     


East Bengal FC vs Hyderabad FC (9 January 2024)

The opening game of the 2024 Kalinga Super Cup is between East Bengal and Hyderabad FC, the second meeting between the pair in the competition. These two have been involved in some dramatic games recently including the thrilling 3-3 draw in the group stages of the Super Cup last season. Now at East Bengal, Javier Siverio scored a brace for the Nawabs in that game while his present teammate Naorem Mahesh scored twice as well for the Torch Bearers alongside Suhair. It was Abdul Rabeeh’s smashing winner in the 83rd minute that rescued a point for Hyderabad FC but it did not matter at the end as eventual winners Odisha FC topped the group to progress to semi-finals.            


Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC (12 January 2024)

Odisha FC and Bengaluru FC placed in the same group will force a replay of last season’s Super Cup final in the group opener of this edition. The Juggernauts beat the Blues 2-1 in the showpiece final hosted back in April in Kozhikode and secured AFC Cup qualification for the very first time in history. For Bengaluru FC, it was a second final defeat after also losing the ISL final to ATK Mohun Bagan (now Mohun Bagan Super Giant). A lot has changed between the sides in terms of squad and management since then. This meeting in the current season of the ISL offered a dramatic game in which Odisha fought from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Kalinga Stadium. It is left to see what this contest offers again played in the same venue.             


Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs East Bengal FC (19 January 2024)

With so many exciting games lined up in the Kalinga Super Cup, it was almost evident that the most anticipated game of the year the Kolkata derby will be played in the competition as well. Ensuring it, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal got placed in the same group. To make matters spicy, the derby could turn out to be a group decider as it is the final game in the group stages for both sides. While the derby in the ISL got postponed due to the festivities and the Cricket World Cup, there were two fiery battles in the Durand Cup earlier this year. East Bengal defeated their bitter rivals for the first time after losing eight straight derbies in the group stages of the competition. However, it was Mohun Bagan who had the last laugh by triumphing in the derby played in the final and crowning themselves Durand Cup winners for a record 17 times. Now, a pulsating battle awaits in Kalinga.           


Punjab FC vs Gokulam Kerala (21 January 2024)

Punjab FC won the I-League last season and became the first side to gain promotion to the ISL. The Shers were not among the favourites for the silverware with two consecutive time winners before them, Gokulam Kerala got the tip to make stride to the now top-tier league. However, the Malabarians failed drastically in completing a historical three-peat finishing third and 12 points behind the top spot. Punjab FC, as RoundGlass Punjab back then, also did the double in this fixture last season. Gokulam now has a chance to seek redemption having drawn into the same group in a game that could be pivotal for both the sides with heavyweights Mumbai City and Chennaiyin FC also in the mix.            

FC Goa vs Odisha FC (22 January 2024) 

FC Goa are also paired together with Odisha and Bengaluru FC in a so-called ‘group of death’ with an intense fight expected for the top spot in the group. The meeting between the Gaurs and the Kalinga Warriors will be in more focus as it will be the second reunion for Sergio Lobera with his old side this season and the fixture will be the last game of the group as well. In the ISL face-off, his former club FC Goa beat his present team Odisha FC in a 3-2 thriller with Jay Gupta scoring an audacious winner. The Orange Army’s current boss Manolo Marquez will want a repeat of the result to assert dominance in the Super Cup as they are doing in the ISL.

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