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Abahani's AFC Cup dream over

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 20 April, 2022 12:00 AM
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Abahani's AFC Cup dream over
Mohun Bagan’s Finnish midfielder Joni Kauko vies with Dhaka Abahani’s midfielder Abu Shaeid during their South Asia Zone play-off round match of AFC Cup 2022 at the crowd-packed Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata Tuesday night. –BFF

The six-time Bangladesh Premier League Champions Dhaka Abahani’s hope of playing in the group stage of AFC Cup 2022 ended after conceding a 1-3 goals defeat to Mohun Bagan in an away match of South Asia Zone play-off round at the crowd-packed Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata Tuesday night.

Mohun Bagan’s Australian forward David Williams completed a hat-trick scoring three goals in the 6th, 29th and 85th minutes while Abahani’s Costa Rican forward Daniel Colindres reduced the gap in the 61st minute. 

Mohun Bagan will now join Group D (South Asian Zone) as the fourth team to compete with the BPL champions Bashundhara Kings, Maldivian side Maziya Sports and Recreation Club and Indian side Gokulam Kerala, scheduled to be held from May 18-24 at the same venue.

On Tuesday, Mohun Bagan took an early lead while their Australian forward David Williams sent the ball home with an impressive right-footed flying shot, off a cross from Finnish midfielder Joni Kauko from the right flank of the box (1-0).

Williams struck his second goal with a left-footed volley from the danger zone while defender Prabir Das sent him a long cross from the left wing far away from the box (2-0).

Abahani reduced the margin 1-2 when their Costa Rican forward Colindres buried the ball into the net with a long right-footer nearer the box, off a pass from midfielder Rakib Hossain.

But Williams sealed the fate for the ISL outfits Mohun Bagan scoring his third goal from a sudden counter-attack.

Both sides missed several close chances throughout the match. Mohun Bagan’s Williams, Liston Colaco and Kiyan Nassiri missed the target at least five times in the 36th, 65th, 79th and 81st minute while Abahani’s Jewel shot off the target in the 67th minute and Rakib was fisted by Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Amrinder Singh in the 77th minute.   

Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi outfit got a walkover to the play-off round this year as their opponents Club Valencia of the Maldives withdrew their participation due to having a financial crisis while Mohun Bagan qualified beating Sri Lanka club Blue Star SC by 5-0 last week.