Bagan look to revive AFC Cup campaign against Maziya
City football giants Mohun Bagan will look to get their act together and put in a credible performance against Maziya Sports & Recreation in a Group E AFC Cup match at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.
Mohun Bagan lost by a solitary goal against Maziya at home in their last AFC Cup engagement last month and after finishing second to surprise I-League winners Aizawl FC, it will be a challenge for Sanjoy Sen's charges to lift their morale and focus on the game.
Mohun Bagan, third in the group with three points from the same number of games, have not put a lot of weight on the AFC Cup, generally fielding second string teams.
Since only one team will qualify to the next stage and Bengaluru FC are looking good to make the grade atop the heap with an all-win record, Mohun Bagan, it seems, have little for play for unless they pull off a heist.
After the Maziya game, Mohun Bagan host Bengaluru at home on May 17 followed by Abahani Limited Dhaka away.
If Mohun Bagan win the games and Bengaluru and other teams lose, the green and maroon brigade might sniff a chance of qualifying. Such has been the gloom in the ranks of Kolkata giants that coach Sanjoy Sen is not travelling with the team. The official word is that Sen is not well. Instead, it will be the assistant Shankarlal Chakraborty who will be guiding the side. With an eye on the Federation Cup, Mohun Bagan have also decided to rest their top goal-poachers Sony Norde and Darryl Duffy. Brazilian defender Eduardo and senior striker Balwant Singh have also not travelled with the team.
Bagan will be dependant on their Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa and India international Jeje Lalpekhlua in their bid to stay in the second tier continental championship. So far, the former I-League champions haven't been at their best in the competition losing two games out of three. Maziya, on the other hand, have won two games out of their three meetings and are placed second. Maziya are one of the Maldives's most successful sides. They won the league title -- Dhivehi Premier League -- for the first time last season. They have won Maldives FA Cup on two occasions in the year 2012 and 2014 and President's cup in 2015.
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