Kochi: As Kerala get laced up for the 36th Federation Cup football championship, 18 summers after it previously hosted the annual event, two contrasting fixtures are in the offing for fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru international stadium on Tuesday.
The opener is a battle of equals, between two proven teams that are set along the same road downhill with a string of losses in the I-League. Goan giants Churchill Brothers and Kolkata-based United Sports Club make the first match at 4 pm.
A confident Pune FC under their flamboyant Dutch coach Mike Snoei, play Goliath against Eagles FC, the second division side from Kochi, clearly the underdogs in the event. The second match is scheduled for a 7 pm kick-off and the two fixtures complete Round One of Group A.
Churchill this season are a shadow of their former selves, with the former I-League champions having only two wins from 13 outings. United too, hit by a lack of sponsorship, are also marred by a spate of injuries to key players.
Their opponents Churchill aren’t doing any better themselves and could not avail the services of Cristian Lagos, their new recruit from Costa Rica to fire up their arsenal that has only netted 12 times in 13 League appearances....