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21 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Abahani, April 25 equally confident to win

Bangladesh champs face North Korean top team today
SPORTS REPORTER, Dhaka
Abahani, April 25 equally confident to win
North Korean April 25 SC coach O Yun Son (L) shake hands with his Abahani Limited counterpart Mario Lemos during AFC Cup Inter Zone semifinal pre-match press conference at BFF Bhaban in the capital yesterday. BFF Photo

With great belief to win, Abahani Limited head coach Mario Lemos of Portugal will face North Korean team April 25 (4.25) SC in their AFC Cup Inter Zone semifinal (knock out phase) home match today.

The match will take place at the Bangabandhu National Stadium at 6:45pm.

Despite having some setbacks, Abahani coach Mario Lemos has every confidence on his boys that they have every ability to win against the stronger North Korean team April 25, one of the oldest team of the country, who will play AFC Cup in this stage for three times in a row.

April 25, in the preliminary stage won five and conceded only one defeat out of six matches when in the first stage Abahani won four, drew one and conceded one defeat.

However, Abahani Limited, who demonstrated very impressive performance in the first round, will have to see huge setback with missing one of the vital players Masih Saighani, experienced midfielder Mamunul Islam will not available due to injury and newly recruited Egyptian defender Alaa Eldin Eissa, who replaced Masih will also out of the squad due to card problem.  

Despite all these stumbling blocks Abahani coach, who believes that it is possible for his team to win against the strong visiting sides, said, “Korean team very strong, I do believe that it is possible to win. But believe is not enough we will have to perform in the field.”

“We have been taking preparation for this stage after the Bangladesh Premier League. The match will be very tough .The team is getting ready with the game getting close. Hopefully we will be ready tomorrow and show what we have been done in the training. We want to make the club, the supporters and everybody proud. In Bangladesh, it’s a final for us and we play to win, nothing else,” Mario Lemos just expressed his confidence.

Mario Lemos, in a pre-match press conference yesterday at the Bangladesh Football Federation Bhaban said, “We will miss three key players and was almost same way we survived against Minerva Punjab. Masih is no more with Abahani but Eissa and Mamunul are quality players and very important for Abahani but the reality is it was almost the same in the group stage where we played without Sunday and Wellington and still won the group.

“Sometimes the players get injured or suspended and it creates opportunity for other players who will have the chance to play a really big match tomorrow. There will not be an excuse that’s what I told my players. We take the responsibility. It’s a big match, some players are out, it happens in football, the other ones will step up surely tomorrow,” said Lemos about missing players.

Mario Lemos about the motivation of the players said, “The motivation is the magnitude of the match. This is very important match for Abahani, for the boys and for me also, they are representing the country, this is the motivation. We know they are strong but we are not afraid.”

 “It will be harder than the previous phase, I want the best squad for the team, I don’t want to miss any better performer, we have some good options in absence of three players,” Lemos replied to a query.

April 25, who scored 17 goals and conceded only two in six matches of the previous round, Lemos replying to a query how he would stop the opponents forwards, said, “It is the business of defenders to stop the forwards, they have quality attackers and as well as quality defenders. We are here after winning matches in the first phase, we want to make history winning the match hope boys will try to win.”                

O Yun Son, coach of Korean team April 25 when addressed in the press meet said that they want to make winning start in the away ground- “In the knockout stage every match is important so we want to win this match tomorrow.”

“We watched some highlights of Abahani, we know details about that Abahani have four foreign players. We will play with our technique and tactics. Tomorrow we will play to win the match, hope you enjoy a good game,” said, O Yun Son.  

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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