Durand Cup 2021 Preview: Groups, Schedule, Format & More
The first civilian club to lift the Durand Cup, Mohammedan Sporting will face Indian Air Force FC on 5th September to kickstart the tournament. The tournament will take place at the Salt Lake Stadium and the Mohun Bagan Stadium in Kolkata with the Kalyani Municipality Stadium hosting a few matches as well.
Two Indian Super League giants in Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad will be seen making their debut in the 2021 edition of the prestigious tournament with fellow ISL sides Bengaluru, Jamshedpur, and Goa also involved.
Only one new I-League club FC has accepted AIFF’s invitation to join the tournament with Sudeva Delhi making their debut as well joining fellow I-League teams defending champions Gokulam Kerala and Mohammedan. Sudeva Delhi will become the first team from the capital city to feature in the tournament’s history when they face Jamshedpur on 6th September.
Only two I-League second division clubs will feature in the upcoming edition as Delhi FC and Bengaluru United will also be making their debuts in Durand Cup.
Five teams will represent the Ministry of Defense in Army Red, 2016 edition champions Army Green, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, and Assam Rifles with Central Reserve Police Force representing the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Durand Cup debutants Bengaluru United has been drawn in Group A along with Indian Air Force, two-time champions Mohammedan, and CRPF. Four of the six group matches will take place in Kalyani with the Bengaluru-based debutants playing all of their group matches outside of Kolkata.
|September 5||4:15 pm||Indian Air Force vs Mohammedan||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 6||3 pm||CRPF vs Bengaluru United||Kalyani Stadium|
|September 9||3 pm||Indian Air Force vs Bengaluru United||Kalyani Stadium|
|September 10||3 pm||CRPF vs Mohammedan||Kalyani Stadium|
|September 14||3 pm||Mohammedan vs Bengaluru United||Kalyani Stadium|
|September 14||3 pm||CRPF vs Indian Air Force||Mohun Bagan Ground|
Two ISL teams in Jamshedpur and Goa will be competing with debutants Sudeva Delhi and 2016 edition champions Army Green in the Group B of 2021 Durand Cup.
|September 6||3 pm||Jamshedpur vs Sudeva Delhi||Mohun Bagan Ground|
|September 7||3 pm||Goa vs Army Green||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 10||3 pm||Jamshedpur vs Army Green||Mohun Bagan Ground|
|September 13||3 pm||Goa vs Sudeva Delhi||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 17||3 pm||Jamshedpur vs Goa||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 17||3 pm||Army Green vs Sudeva Delhi||Mohun Bagan Ground|
Two ISL giants in Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru will be renewing their rivalry with a flavor of South Indian football as the young developmental sides of both clubs will be fighting it out to reach the knockout stages. I-League second division club Delhi and Indian Navy are also a part of Group C.
|September 6||3 pm||Delhi vs Indian Navy||Mohun Bagan Ground|
|September 11||3 pm||Kerala Blasters vs Indian Navy||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 15||3 pm||Bengaluru vs Kerala Blasters||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 18||3 pm||Delhi vs Bengaluru||Mohun Bagan Ground|
|September 21||3 pm||Bengaluru vs Indian Navy||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 21||3 pm||Delhi vs Kerala Blasters||Mohun Bagan Ground|
Defending champions Gokulam Kerala have been drawn in Group D and will be playing all of their group matches in Kalyani Stadium with debutants Hyderabad, Army Red, and Assam Rifles set to compete with the I-League champions for two places in the knockout stages.
|September 9||3 pm||Assam Rifles vs Army Red||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 12||3 pm||Assam Rifles vs Hyderabad||Mohun Bagan Ground|
|September 12||3 pm||Gokulam Kerala vs Army Red||Kalyani Stadium|
|September 16||3 pm||Gokulam Kerala vs Hyderabad||Kalyani Stadium|
|September 19||3 pm||Army Red vs Hyderabad||Salt Lake Stadium|
|September 19||3 pm||Assam Rifles vs Gokulam Kerala||Kalyani Stadium|
After a single round-robin format in the group stage, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout stages. The four quarter-final matches are scheduled between September 23 and September 25.
The first semi-final will take place on September 27 whilst the second semi-final is scheduled for September 29. The 130th champions of the coveted Durand Cup will be crowned on 3rd October at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.