AFC Cup 2019: Minerva look to end campaign on high against Abahani Dhaka

Though unbeaten so far, Minerva is third in Group E with five points from five matches.

Minerva Punjab is out of contention for a place in the knockout rounds of the AFC Cup.   -  PTI

Out of contention for a knockout berth after five drawn games, Minerva Punjab would look to end its maiden AFC Cup campaign on a high when it takes on group topper Abahani Limited of Dhaka here Wednesday.

Though unbeaten so far, Minerva are at the third place in the Group E points table with five points from five matches.

Abahani is top with 10 points, ahead of Chennaiyin FC (8 points), going into the final day of group phase Wednesday.

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Only one team will progress to the Inter-Zone Semifinals from Group E.

Wednesday’s match at Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium is an inconsequential one as far as Minerva is concerned but it will have a huge impact on Abahani, as well as Chennaiyin.

A win for Abahani will straightaway take it to the Inter-Zone Semifinals, irrespective of the result of the match between Chenniyin and bottom-placed Manang Marshyangdi Club of Nepal in Kathmandu.

But, if Minerva wins or holds Abahani to a draw and Chennaiyin beats Manang, then the Indian Super League side will make the Inter-Zone Semifinals. That way, Minerva can do a favour to Chennaiyin, while bowing out without losing a match.

The first-leg match between Minerva and Abahani ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Minerva comes into the match after a 1-1 draw with Chennaiyin here on June 19 while Abahani had thrashed Manang 5-0 at home.

“Even if we win against Abahani, we are not qualifying for the knock-out. In that case, it will be a rare case with a team not progressing from the group stage despite not losing a match,” Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj said.

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