Mohun Bagan lock horns with Abahani Limited Dhaka in dead rubber AFC Cup game
Written by: Praveen R. Paramasivam
Both teams are no longer in contention to qualify for the knockout phase...
Mohun Bagan do battle with Abahani Limited Dhaka at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday night in their final AFC Cup fixture of the campaign as they look to secure a consolation win in Dhaka.
Having secured just a single win, against Bengaluru, Dhaka find themselves rooted to the bottom of Group E, while the Kolkata giants sit third, courtesy of wins against Bengaluru and Dhaka.
Having already been eliminated from the AFC Cup, both sides will likely lack motivation heading into the dead rubber. However, as the midweek fixture presents them the opportunity to end their respective seasons on a high note, one can expect more than a snoozefest.
With the visitors’ securing four wins in six games, they are in better form, as Dhaka have lost four of their five recent games; a win for Sanjoy Sen’s side is on the cards.
Ghana defender Samad Yussif, who missed the reverse fixture thanks to a visa issue, will likely start at the heart of the defence. His compatriot Landing Darboe remains ineligible. Welshman Jonathan Brown may play his last game in Dhaka colours because of contractual issues.
Anas Edathodika, who recently shrugged off an injury concern, will likely earn his start. With the game holding no significance except for pride, the Mariners may proceed to field their second-string side.
Their only meeting came earlier this season at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium as the Mariners drubbed the Bangladesh outfit 3-1, courtesy of goals from Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh and Sony Norde.
Man to Watch
Jonathan Brown-Abahani Dhaka: One of the only three goal-scorers in AFC Cup, the former Cardiff City striker has proved a shrewd addition as he continues to be the focal point of Dhaka’s attack. With Mohun Bagan boasting the worst defensive record in Group E, he will look to add to his tally.
Jeje Lalpekhlua-Mohun Bagan: Despite their woeful defensive record, the I-League giants boast the second best goal-scoring record, only behind leaders Maziya, with Indian international Jeje Lalpekhlua topping the chart. Scoring three goals in the group fixtures, he has reiterated how prolific he is. With Dhaka’s goal difference being -6, one can expect him to score a goal or two.
Abahani Dhaka: Alam, Khan, Yussif, Chowdhury, Hasan, Faisal, Sohel Rana, Mahmud, Brown, Onuoha
Mohun Bagan: Shilton, Raju, Bikramjit, Kinshuk, Subhasish, Katsumi, Bikramjit, Sehnaj, Prabir, Jeje, Balwant
Published: Tue May 30, 2017 07:08 PM IST