AFC Cup: Mohun Bagan to face Maziya

A depleted Mohun Bagan will look to regroup quickly after its I-League disappointment and give a strong performance when it takes on Maldives’ Maziya Sports and Recreation Club in its away match on Wednesday.

Mohun Bagan will depend much on Katsumi Yusa (in picture) and Jeje Lalpekhlua in the absence of Sony Norde and Darryl Duffy.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Shrugging off the disappointment of missing out on a coveted I-League title by a whisker, a depleted Mohun Bagan will look to regroup quickly and give a strong performance when it takes on Maldives’ Maziya Sports and Recreation Club in its away match on Wednesday.

Such has been the gloom in the team that coach Sanjoy Sen is not travelling with the players. The official word is that Sen is not well. Instead, assistant Shankarlal Chakraborty will guide the side. With an eye on the Federation Cup, Mohun Bagan has also decided to rest its top goal-poachers Sony Norde and Darryl Duffy. Brazilian defender Eduardo and senior striker Balwant Singh has also not travelled with the team.

Bagan will be dependant on its Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa and India international Jeje Lalphekhlua in its bid to stay in the second tier continental championship. Players will have difficulty motivating themselves after having put in all their energies in the I-League which was eventually won by Aizawl FC.

Mohun Bagan is placed third in group E with a sole victory - against Abahani Limited of Bangladesh - and two losses - to Bengaluru FC and Maziya. Maziya has won two games and is second in the group.

Bagan needs to win its remaining three matches as only one team qualifies for next stage from each group. Bengaluru is sitting pretty at the top with nine points from three games. In fact, it is a sort of grudge match for Bagan after losing 0-1 to Maziya in its home game last month.

After the Maziya game, Mohun Bagan will face Bengaluru at home on May 17 followed by an away encounter against Abahani.

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