Shillong, Mar 10: The qualifiers for the second edition of the Super Cup will begin on 15th March, with the main competition starting on 29th March. However, bottom I-League side Shillong Lajong will not be in contention.
The Super Cup brings together the top six teams from each of the I-League and Indian Super League. Last year the bottom four clubs from each tournament also battled it out for four places through qualifiers. However, with the I-League expanding to 11 teams in 2018-19, the 11th-placed side, ie Lajong, has been excluded from the qualifying round.
Last season Lajong gained direct entry into the Round of 16 and beat FC Pune City 3-2 but lost out to Mohun Bagan in the quarterfinals 3-1.
Like last year, the qualifiers and main competition will take place in Bhubaneshwar. Bengaluru FC from the ISL are the defending champions.
From the ISL, Pune City, Kerala Blasters, Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin are in the qualifiers and up against them will be Gokulam Kerala, Minerva Punjab, Indian Arrows and Aizawl FC. The Blasters will play the Arrows on 15th March at 8:30PM and Chennayin will take on Aizawl the following day at 8:30PM. The other two fixtures haven’t been finalised yet as Minerva have to play their postponed fixture against Real Kashmir to conclude the I-League season. If they win or draw that game they will overtake Gokulam in the standings (both sides currently have 17 points).
The 12 teams that have already qualified for the main round are the I-League’s Chennai City, East Bengal, Real Kashmir, Churchill Brothers, Mohun Bagan and NEROCA and the ISL’s Bengaluru, NorthEast United, Mumbai City, FC Goa, ATK and Jamshedpur FC.
Four fixtures have been confirmed: Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru (31st March, 5PM), ATK vs Real Kashmir (1st April, 8:30PM), Jamshedpur vs Churchill (2nd April, 8:30PM) and a North East derby between NEROCA and NorthEast United (3rd April, 8:30PM).