The Asian Football Confederation have announced the new schedule of Group E matches which begin on October 23.
The AFC Cup is set to return after a long hiatus, as the Asian Football Confederation is eager to finish its tournaments as early as possible. The AFC have announced that the new fixtures for Group E, which consists of former I-League champions Chennai City FC, are set to resume from October 23.
Apart from Chennai City FC, the group includes Bangladeshi outfit Bashundhara Kings and two Maldivian clubs in TC Sports and Maziya S&RC. In the opening game, Maziya S&RC will play against Bashundhara Kings while later in the day, TC sports will host Chennai City FC. The group stages will run till November 4. All the group stage matches are set to be played at the National Stadium in Male, the capital city of Maldives.
After Bengaluru FC got knocked out in the Qualifiers by Maziya, Chennai City are the only hope for India at the continental stage this year. Akbar Nawas and his men did not make the perfect start to their AFC Cup campaign, as they could only secure a 2-2 draw against Maziya on Matchday 1.
Spanish forward Fito Miranda opened the scoring against the Maldivian outfit for Chennai. But, in the second half, Mohamed Irufaan equalized around the hour mark and winger Ibrahim Mahudhee added to the scoreline within the next three minutes. Chennai City left it late, as Miranda scored again in the 90th minute to secure a draw.
Looking at the current table after Matchday 1, Bashundhara Kings are on top with a 5-1 win over TC Sports. However, the tables can turn anytime, with TC Sports and Maziya S&RC getting home advantage for the rest of the group stage.