Dhaka Abahani Ltd Portuguese Head Coach Mario Lemos felt confident about their Afghan defender Masih Saighani and set-piece strategies.
The 11-time Federation Cup champions Dhaka Abahani Ltd made a solid start in the season’s curtain-raiser meet Walton Federation Cup 2020 beating their arch-rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club Ltd by 3-0 goals in the first match of Group D at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Thursday. Midfielder Jewel Rana scored twice while Afghan defender Masih Saighani netted one.“The set pieces are the key of the game, these are part of the game. You can score with set pieces and by open play. I try to train them (players) in every way, in the last three days I’ve been doing set pieces. Every three days we have been doing set pieces. They (MSC) also have set pieces, but they couldn’t score goal. Mashi is very aggressive. He won long throw-ins, scored goals. Masih is very important for the balance of the squad,” Lemos told the reporters in a pre-match press conference on Thursday night.
At BNS, Masih opened account for the Dhanmondi based outfit with a header from inside the box, utilizing a throw-in by defender Rayhan Hasan from left side before Jewel doubled it also by a header in the 41st minute. Just a few minutes before the half time, Jewel doubled the margin, off an amazing back volley by Masih from inside the box in the 45th minute (2-0).
After the half time, Jewel again put the net on fire in the 53rd minute. The midfielder placed the ball from goalmouth melee after Belfort's header dropped off following a throw-in by Rayhan from the left side (3-0).
The 34-year-old Portuguese believed his side are able to play better football.
“As per my standard, I feel that the team can play better, but We have been training for three weeks and the foreign players have been eight days training with us. I think the players fought, the most important thing in this type of tournament is getting wins. Last year, I had the experience of playing good football and not winning nothing. This year, we want to win and winning this type of game, the derby, is very important and also, our confidence will be high,” Lemos added.
“It (to win derby) always has a different, It’s a derby and we always want to win. Last year, we won 4-0 and this year 3-0. We want to keep winning and our main goal is to win the Federation Cup. Bashundhara Kings have been training since June-July. We have been training for three weeks. I believe we will be ready and will play the best football against them when we will meet them,” he further added.Dhaka Abahani, which formed a strong 30-member team including 7 national booters and 4 foreigners, appeared on the field with Brazilian striker Francisco Wagsley Rodrigues de Sousa Filho, Afghan defender Masih Saighani and Haitian Kervens Fils Belfort. Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto Santos da Silva didn’t arrive here due to his visa complications.
About their foreign players, Lemos said, “Our foreigners need time. They have been playing for just eight days, they get much time. Bangladesh football is difficult to adapt. They are fit. I thought the team would be 70-75 percent, but they were a little bit less 60—65 percent. I think this game will help them.”