The Islanders are placed in Group D alongside Al Hilal, FC Nassaji Mazandaran and Navbahor
Earlier today the lone side from the Indian Super League, Mumbai City FC had been drawn into the same group with star-filled Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League. The news spread like wildfire among football fans in India. And why wouldn’t it be? One of this generation’s best players, a superstar from Brazil, Neymar Jr. would play in India as a result of this draw. Now, it has been known that Neymar Jr’s Al Hilal will play in India against Mumbai City FC on the 6th of November,2023. The Islanders will face Al Hilal at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune.
It’s time for the fans to get gaga over this news as Al Hilal SFC is filled with superstar footballers like Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves, Sergie Milinkovic-Savic, Aleksander Mitrovic, Malcolm and Neymar himself.
Besides Al Hilal, the ISL shield winners will be facing Iran’s FC Nassaji Mazandaran and Uzbekistan’s Navbahor. These four teams have been clubbed into Group D of the AFC Champions League. The draw took place today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to distribute 40 teams into 10 groups of 4 teams each.
This will be Mumbai City FC’s second season in the AFC Champions League. The Islanders had a memorable run in their very first Champions League appearance. The team finished their campaign as the runners of group B, behind another Saudi Arabian team Al Shabab. During that remarkable journey, Mumbai City FC won against Iraq’s Air Force club, emerging as the first club from India to win a game in the AFC Champions League.
The Islanders would face a tough challenge this time, Uzbekistan Super League runners-up during the campaign besides the much talked about side in world football now, Al Hilal. Des Buckingham’s men will however not be playing in their usual home venue Mumbai Football Arena as its infrastructure was not eligible to host AFC Champions League games.
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