New Delhi: Defending champions West Bengal will take on Manipur in the opening game as the 72nd edition of the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy kicks off in Kolkata on March 19.
Ten teams who qualified from the preliminary stages have been divided into two groups of five teams each with the top two from each group advancing to the semifinals which are to be played on March 30. The final is slated for April 1.
Kerala have been drawn in Group A alongside West Bengal, Chandigarh, Manipur and Maharashtra. Kerala open their campaign against Chandigarh in the second game on March 19.
All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das wished luck to all the participating teams.
“We are delighted to have the Santosh Trophy being hosted in Kolkata. I wish success to the 10 finalists and look forward to a successful hosting of the prestigious event by the AIFF,” he said.
Group A: West Bengal, Chandigarh, Manipur, Kerala, Maharashtra.
Group B: Goa, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Karnataka.
Kerala's matches: vs Chandigarh on March 19; vs Manipur on March 23; vs Maharashtra on March 25; vs West Bengal on March 27.