Wednesday, August 23, 2017 | ePaper
Acid test for Abahani against Bengaluru FC
Bangladesh Premier League champions Abahani faces an acid test as they left for India on Sunday to participate in AFC Cup fixture where they will be facing strong JSW Bengaluru FC.
The Sky Blues are in dire strait as they have lost both of their AFC Cup inaugural ties against Maziya SRC of the Maldives and against famous Kolkata's and India's one of the most popular team Mohun Bagan held earlier this month.
Sadly Bangladesh's five-time Bangladesh Premier League champions languish at the bottom of the points table with two consecutive defeats in the four-team group.
India's one of the leading club Bengaluru FC, AFC Cup's last editions runners-up are top of the points table with two wins, one being over Mohun Bagan and the other over Maziya SRC.
Injuries and the departure of five players has put Abahani in a precarious position and to add salt to Abahani's wound, their star foreign defender Samad Yussif was forced to stay back due to visa complications. Abahani's foreign Croatian coach Drago Mamic is in immense pressure especially after the 1-3 loss to Mohun Bagan early last week.
"We will be playing against the defending champions of India and also finalists of the last AFC Cup. We know everything about this club [Bengaluru] but we must take care about our performance, to be better than last time," said Mamic yesterday, emphasising on the need to perform consistently throughout the match.
"We played very a good match against Mohun Bagan in the first half and that was an improvement but we must start thinking about how to prolong this performance to be very good for more than only one half."
Mamic is handicapped as he will get the service of only two foreign players while their rival Bengaluru FC have luxury to have full quota of four played in their best eleven.
The most awaited encounter will be played on April 18 at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore.