Abahani face Chennaiyin in AFC must-win

Sports Correspondent

14th May, 2019 10:50:20 printer

Abahani face Chennaiyin in AFC must-win

Nabib Newaz, Fransisco Fernandez

Dhaka Abahani Limited will take on former Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC in their fourth Group E match of AFC Cup 2019 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.

In their last Group Eencounter, a suicidal goal by Brazilian defender Wellington Priori forcedthe Dhanmondi-based outfit to concede a 0-1 defeat at the Arena Stadium in Ahmedabad on April 30.

The defeat forced Abahani to the 2nd slot in the four-team group with four points from three matches with one win, one draw and one loss. Channaiyin FC, on the other hand, reached the top of the group with an unbeaten run securing seven points from three matches with two wins and a draw.

Abahani, six-time Bangladesh Professional Football League champions, will have to win the next match to keep their hopes alive in AFC Cup.

They have failed to score enough in their Group E matches despite having a good attacking side. They netted three goals and concededas many in their last three games. Abahani coach Mario Lemos said that the team is nevertheless confident.

“We didn’t do well in India. We played well there but we lost the match. But, we’ll do better in this game,” he told a pre-match press conference at BFF house on Tuesday.

He said they would follow a very simple plan by playing attacking football and avoiding mistakes.

Abahani’s key booter Nabib Newaz Ziban is also confident. “We’ve done a lot of work on our mistakes.

Tomorrow we’ll try to win,” he said.

On the other hand, Chennaiyin FC’s goal difference stands at +3 with their three goals in as many Group E matches.

After a goalless draw (0-0 ) with Minerva Punjab on April 3, they defeated Manang Marshyangdi of Nepal by 2-0 goals on April 17 at the Arena Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Chennaiyin’s English head coach John Charles Gregory said that the match will be tough but they will try hard to win.

In the AFC Club Ranking 2019, Dhaka Abahani are in the 110th slot with 8.59 points while Chennaiyin FC are in the 98th slot with 10.61 points.

Abahani are participating in their third AFC campaign since 2017 but it is Chennaiyin FC’s maiden appearance.

Dhaka Abahani Limited successively won country’s one of the prestigious football competition Federation Cup title for three times since 2016.