Indian Football

AFC Cup 2022: Gokulam Kerala's coach Vincenzo Annese is ready for ATK Mohun Bagan challenge

Arjun Singh Devgan
Gokulam Kerala are the current I-League champions
Gokulam Kerala are the current I-League champions / Gokulam Kerala

I-League side, Gokulam Kerala FC head coach, Vincenzo Alberto Annese has opened up on their upcoming AFC Cup 2022 group stage opener against ATK Mohun Bagan - revealing that his side "will play to win".

Gokulam Kerala have been drawn in Group D of the 2022 AFC Cup along with fellow Indian side, ATK Mohun Bagan, Bangladesh Premier League champions, Bashundhara Kings and Maziya who are the winners of the Maldives' Dhivehi Premier League.

Kerala come into the clash on the back of creating history in the I-League, with the Malabarians becoming the first club to defend their crown after beating Mohammedan Sporting 2-1 in the decider.

While ATK Mohun Bagan go into the clash as favourites, Annese believes that his side should not be underestimated.

"I've respect for all opponents but trust me you have respect for my team also. They must give everything tomorrow. With budget you don't win football. It's a battle between XI versus XI on the field. "Personally, I am a bit emotional, the budgets are different in ISL teams, and us. But budgets don't matter to players. "I am very involved in this game, commitment, respect towards opponents are important but we will not make it easy for ATK. Tomorrow, we will play for a win," he said on the eve of the game.

Gokulam Kerala will open their campaign against ATK Mohun Bagan on Wednesday, 18 May with the match scheduled to kick-off at 4:30pm IST.