MUMBAI, MARCH 17: Ambernath United Atlanta FC from Maharashtra have been at the very top of every competition they have competed in. They won the MFA Elite Premier League title (2021-22 season) in their very first year of inception and followed it up by winning the prestigious Harwood Champions League rounding off a double-winning season. AUAFC were able to defend their Elite Premier League title (2022-23 season) to make it back-to-back titles in the top domestic league in Mumbai. As a result of this, they have now been nominated into the Hero I-League 2, the third tier of the Indian Football League system wherein they will represent Maharashtra as they look set to make their debut.
As we head into the 15th edition of the Hero I-League 2 and the very first I-League 2 since rebranding it as the third tier of the Indian Football League system. The break up of these 20 is 12 state league champions along with 6 ISL reserve teams and 2 winner teams from the qualification round.
The 20 participating clubs have been divided into groups: Group A, Group B, Group C, and Group D.
Group A: Techtro Swades United (Himachal Pradesh), Jagat Singh Palahi (Punjab), Mumbai City (R) (Maharashtra), Downtown Heroes (Jammu & Kashmir), Delhi FC (New Delhi)
Group B: Shillong Lajong, The Diamond Rock, United SC, East Bengal (R)
Group C: Bengaluru FC (R), Golden Threads, RKM FA, Chennaiyin FC (R), FC Bengaluru United
Group D: ARA FC, Dempo, Ambernath United Atlanta FC, FC Goa (R), Hyderabad FC (R)
Four group winners from their respective groups go straight to the final round. The four best second-placed teams will battle it out and one of them will join the four group winners in the final round. The top 2 in the last round will gain promotion to the Hero I-League 2023-24. The other three will qualify for the final qualification round for Hero I-League 2.
Ambernath United Atlanta FC will make their debut in the Hero I-League 2 this season. Having had a remarkable season in the Elite Premier League last time around, they won the title in dominant fashion without losing a single match. Representing Maharashtra in the I-League 2 competition they set their sight on promotion to the I-League next season.
Ambernath United Atlanta FC’s fixture list looks like this:
- Ambernath United Atlanta FC vs Hyderabad FC (R), Sunday, 19th March 2023, 4.30 pm Kickoff at Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai.
- Ambernath United Atlanta FC vs ARA FC, Saturday, 25th March 2023, 4.30 pm Kickoff at Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai.
- FC Goa (R) vs Ambernath United Atlanta FC, Thursday, 30th March 2023, 4.00 pm Kickoff at Nagoa Panchayat Ground in Goa.
- Dempo FC vs Ambernath United Atlanta FC, Sunday, 2nd April 2023, 4.00 pm Kickoff at Dempo Academy Ground in Goa.
- Ambernath United Atlanta FC vs FC Goa (R), Friday, 7th April 2023, 4.30 pm Kickoff at Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai.
- Ambernath United Atlanta FC vs Dempo, Tuesday, 11th April 2023, 4.30 pm Kickoff at Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai.
- Hyderabad FC (R) vs Ambernath United Atlanta FC, Thursday, 20th April 2023, Kickoff at Bangalore Football Stadium in Bengaluru.
- ARA FC vs Ambernath United Atlanta FC, Thursday, 27th April 2023, Kickoff at Shahibaug Police Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The schedule of eight matches pretty much follows the same pattern of two home matches followed by two away matches. Ambernath United Atlanta FC face a tough challenge in Group D from two ISL reserve teams Hyderabad FC and FC Goa. Dempo FC have been I-league giants and are well-known for their football academy wherein they have produced some of the best talents in the country. ARA FC have enjoyed a lot of domestic success in Gujarat and are also in the mix to qualify for the next round from Group D.
About Ambernath United Atlanta FC:
Ambernath United Atlanta FC are two times champions of Mumbai, having won Mumbai’s Elite Premier League, twice unbeaten, alongside a Harwood Champions League title. Ambernath United Atlanta FC will be representing Mumbai Metropolitan Region at the 2023 I-League 2.
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