POST TIME: 15 May, 2019 01:00:35 AM
A do or die match for Abahani
Chennaiyin look forward to AFC Cup final round

A do or die match for Abahani

Indian Chennaiyin FC head coach John Greogory (L-2nd) and key player Francisco Fernandes pose for a photograph with Abahani Limited coach Mario Lemos (R-2nd) and key player Nabib Newaj Jibon during the pre-match press conference of AFC Cup qualifier at BFF Bhaban in the capital yesterday in the capital. BFF Photo

In a bid to move into the final round of the AFC Cup, champions of the Bangladesh Premier League football Abahani Limited will face Indian champions Chennaiyin FC in a do or die encounter today.

The match will take place at the Bangabandhu National Stadium at 7pm.

The match is more vital for the hosts Abahani Limited than the visitors Chennaiyin, as the latter will play the match with an advantage of home match win when the Bangladesh champions conceded a suicidal goal in Ahmedabad.

The Chennaiyin FC and Abahani both played three matches when the former are leading the table with seven points winning two and sharing points in one match but Abahani Limited earned four points and are in must win situation to remain in the race to cross the group phase hurdle.   

Abahani head coach Mario Lemos also thinks that the match is very crucial for them, as he said in a press conference yesterday.

“It is a match like final for us, if we will lose than will be misplaced from the race and everything is possible in the final. It was something disappointing for us to lose the away match to Chennaiyin, Now we will have to win the match. We will try and hope will get a result,” Lemos said in the press meet at the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Bhaban.

About the missing trial in every match of the forwards, when forwards’ mistakes during finishing hour the Abahani had to pay costly with conceding defeats, the Portugal coach Lemos said, “Yes, I always tell the boys to be perfect when you will have four/five chances you should mark the targets.”  

Lemos thinks that it would be something better for them in home ground to face Chennaiyin-  “Of Course it is going to be a bit easier in term of we played Chennaiyin FC two weeks ago. We had idea how they played. We are trying to fix up what we did not properly against them in the away. I think we can do better in this match and hopefully we can get result.”

Lemos, though lost the away match but said that they earned some confidence when he said, “Obviously, we gained some confidence after playing match in India  but I told the players to do more. We can’t be happy what we did in India because we played well but lost the match. If we want to win the match, we need to do more on the pitch. The defenders must be more focused and don’t allow Chennaiyin to enter our citadel and if they allow them to play, we will be in trouble.”

Abahani will play with huge setback when their vital performers will not available due to injury problems, like defender Tapu Barman, who could not play any match, Fahad have already ruled out and it becomes challenge for Abahani, “If I told you we won’t miss Tapu, Fahad, it would be lie but in football injury happens. I spoke about the backline before, the more time the payers play together in backline, they get better, we have been changing the player lot in backline following the injury problem.”

Nabib Newaj Jibon one of the vital players said, “We played against them and have some idea, though, we have some injury problems ahead of tomorrow’s match we just forget it. We worked on our mistakes.”

John Gregory, head coach of Chennaiyin FC termed Abahani  a tough team and said that they will field to win the match, as it would confirm their qualification in the next round.

“We won the last match against Abahani but they are tough opponents, if we win the match we will progress a lot to move into the final round.”