Kolkata, Sep 13: SC East Bengal will take on Jamshedpur FC in their opening encounter of the Hero Indian Super League 2021-22 season at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on November 21.
Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) on Monday announced fixtures for the first 11 rounds of the Hero ISL 2021-22 season.
The eighth edition of the country’s top tier league once again returns to Goa’s three iconic stadiums this winter, featuring 115 games starting November 19. The first instalment of the schedule announced on Monday runs until January 9, 2022.
SC East Bengal will be calling the Tilak Maidan their ‘home’ this season. Coached by former Real Madrid Castilla boss Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz, the Red-and-Gold Brigade will square off against arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata Derby in their second outing on November 27 at the same venue.
“The fixture list is quite tight, and games will come at us thick and fast. We will prepare well ahead of our first encounter against Jamshedpur FC," SC East Bengal head coach Manuel 'Manolo' Diaz said. “I know all the talk is around the derby which is the second game for us. Although we will have only a short time to prepare, I respect the emotions of the fans and all I can say is, we will be ready," he added.
The red and gold side take on Odisha FC next on November 30, playing their first six games at the Tilak Maidan, which is also ‘home’ to Chennaiyin FC, Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC. Chennaiyin FC will host SC East Bengal next on December 3, followed by a home fixture against FC Goa four days later. Kerala Blasters will lock horns with SC East Bengal on December 12, before the Diaz-coached outfit travel to Fatorda to take on NorthEast United FC on December 17 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Hyderabad FC host SC East Bengal just before Christmas, on December 23, at the SAG Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. The Red-and-Golds will return to the stadium in the new year to take on Bengaluru FC on January 4.
SC East Bengal finish their first round of engagements with a match against reigning champions Mumbai City FC at home on January 7.
This season, the league has introduced a late 9:30 PM kick-off for its Saturday double headers. The regular weekday schedule remains unchanged, with matches kicking off at 7:30 PM. All SC East Bengal games will be held at 7:30 PM for the first 11 rounds of the Hero ISL 2021-22 season. Last season's finalists, ATK Mohun Bagan, will face Kerala Blasters FC on the opening game night.
The remaining Hero ISL 2020-21 fixtures will be announced in December 2021.