AFC Cup: Three key battles to watch out for Mohun Bagan vs Bashundhara Kings tie
The stakes are high in the upcoming AFC Cup contest
Mohun Bagan are set to welcome Bashundhara Kings in their next 2023-24 AFC Cup fixture on 24 October 2023. The reigning Indian Super League playoff winners have won both their opening group fixtures against Odisha FC and Maziya S&RC respectively. While they sit on top of the group standings, the challenge by the Bangladeshi outfit is set to be tough.
Bashundhara Kings enters the contest against Mohun Bagan SG after handing Odisha FC a 3-2 defeat. They have several players in the lineup that can single-handedly make a difference. Having said that, the Mariners also possess a dangerous squad full of exceptional Indian and foreign players. The strength on paper in both squads makes the upcoming contest highly exciting.
Here are the three key battles that will definitely play a key role in influencing the outcome of the game between Mohun Bagan SG and Bashundhara Kings:
Asish Rai vs Robinho
Robinho was part of the squad at Bashundhara Kings when they met the Mariners in the AFC Cup last year. While the side lost by four goals to nil, he was one of the better performers in the team. However, the left-sided attacker will come up against the pacy and aggressive Asish Rai when the two teams meet again on 24 October.
This will make his life a lot harder. Asish Rai loves to use his speed to keep wingers in check and also contribute to attack thanks to his endurance. It will be a brilliant clash between Robinho and Rai on the flanks.
Hector Yuste vs Dorielton
Hector Yuste is a leader at the back and has been very impressive for Mohun Bagan SG. He has recently joined the club and made nine appearances in all competitions. The 35-year-old leads the backline with composure and plays a key role in keeping the opposition attackers at bay.
His priority will be to contain Dorielton who plays as the target man for Bashundhara Kings. The forward, hailing from Brazil, has scored two goals and made one assist in the AFC Cup, with the brace coming against ISL’s Odisha FC in the last fixture.
Jason Cummings vs Boburbek Yuldashov
Jason Cummings has taken to life at Mohun Bagan SG like a breeze. The Australian striker has won the fans over already thanks to his personality and goalscoring prowess on the field. He has eight goals and two assists for the Mariners in 11 appearances.
When he comes up against Bashundhara Kings, Boburbek Yuldashov will be looking to stop him from scoring. The centre-back from Uzbekistan is a strong defender who does not shy from a tackle and loves to win duels against his opponents. Winning this face-off will be key for Cummings in his objective of adding to his two goals in the 2023-23 AFC Cup.