The Mariners are currently on top of Group D.
Group D of the AFC Cup 2022 hangs in perfect balance with four teams from the South Zone having accumulated three points from two games each. ATK Mohun Bagan, Gokulam Kerala FC (GKFC), Bashundhara Kings and Maziya S&RC have all won and lost a game each.
The Mariners got off to a stumbling start after Gokulam Kerala trounced them 4-2. However, in the very next game, Juan Ferrando’s men put on an exhilarating display of attacking football, scoring four times against the Bangladeshi champions. Come Tuesday, Bagan will have to win their fixture and hope that Gokulam drop points in theirs.
Maziya S&RC, on the other hand, bagged three points against a surprisingly insipid GKFC side. This kept them in the race for the Inter-Zonal Semi-Final spot, along with the other three teams.
ATK Mohun Bagan Vs Maziya S&RC: The Stakes
Both sides must win to have the best shot at making it to the next round. As the game will be the second of Tuesday’s double header with a late kickoff time, at 8:30 pm, both the teams will be aware of what they have to do to qualify. A tie in terms of points after all three rounds will see the head-to-head rule being applied to identify the group winner.
If Bashundhara Kings come on top against Gokulam, in their 4:30 pm game, a win will secure ATKMB’s progress. If Gokulam triumps, Maziya could proceed by beating Bagan. In case of the first game ending in stalemate, the match will turn into a mouthwatering knockout fixture.
ATK Mohun Bagan will be without the services of their Spanish defender Tiri, who suffered an ACL injury against Gokulam Kerala. Hugo Boumous and Michael Soosairaj are still recovering from injury and may not feature yet again.
Sandesh Jhingan started against Kings and put in a five-star performance despite lacking full fitness. He suffered a knock in the match, but Ferrando may be forced to throw him into the thick of things given how high the stakes are.
Miodrag Jesic goes into the game with all his players available for selection.
ATK Mohun Bagan Vs Maziya S&RC: Head-to-Head
The two sides have met once before, with ATK Mohun Bagan securing a 3-1 victory over the Maldivian champions. Playing in last year’s edition of the AFC Cup, Ibrahim put the Green Boys ahead at half time. Bagan would complete their comeback with goals from Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco; all of whom are expected to start on Tuesday.
ATK Mohun Bagan Vs Maziya S&RC: Probable Lineups
ATK Mohun Bagan: Amrinder Singh (GK); Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose; Carl McHugh, Lenny Rodrigues, Joni Kauko, Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco; Roy Krishna (C).
Maziya S&RC: Kiran Kumar Limbu (GK); Shifaz Hassan, Ali Samooh, Nemanja Kartal (C), Haisham Hassan; Hussain Nihan, Ibrahim Aisham; Hassan Naiz, Tana, Hamzah Mohamed; Cornelius Stewart.
ATK Mohun Bagan Vs Maziya S&RC: Players to Watch
Liston Colaco (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Liston Colaco was the focal point of every single Mariners’ attack against Bashundhara Kings. He now has four goals from two games and the 23-year-old seems in blistering form. A livewire down the left flank, Colaco seems more clinical than he was in the recent ISL season, where he scored an impressive eight goals. In the post-match press conference on Saturday, the Goan said, “Scoring a hat-trick is not easy. You need patience. Last season, I lacked in some areas. So, during my off-season, I improved… Hence, I got my first hat-trick of the season. Maybe this is my first. To score the same, you have to be calm inside the box.”
Quickly becoming one of the most lethal attackers in the subcontinent, Colaco will relish taking on a Maziya side that faced very little threat against Gokulam.
Cornelius Stewart (Maziya S&RC)
Cornelius Stewart has led Maziya’s attack for a good few seasons now. An extremely versatile forward, the Vincentian can operate in any role in attack. His partnership with the technically sound Tana caused tons of problems for the Malabarians’ defence on Saturday.
Miodrag Jesic has built his team around Stewart and his teammates will look to feed him dangerous passes. The all-Indian defence of ATKMB will have to cut the channels in order to stop Stewart, who can be a very tricky customer on his day.
Did You Know?
- Cornelius Stewart signed for Minerva Punjab in January 2019. The club had signed him with an impending AFC Champions League qualifier. However, the Vincentian didn’t feature for the club, moving back to Maziya for the 2019/20 season.
- Both Joni Kauko and Stewart have plied their trade in the Finnish top division – the Veikkausliiga.
- Maziya’s Spanish midfielder Tana has 83 appearances for Las Palmas. In the 2016/17 season, he scored against Real Madrid in both their league games.
The game will start at 8:30 pm IST at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. The fixture will be telecast live on Star Sports Network and live streaming will be available on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.