Mohun Bagan looks to get past a depleted Colombo FC

The host needs a draw to reach the next stage, but Sen would be looking for a win which would provide a physhological boost to his side ahead of the important I-League against traditional rival East Bengal on Sunday.

Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen with the team.   -  V. Ganesan

Injuries and absentees bother both the opponents as Mohun Bagan hosts Colombo FC in the return match of the AFC Cup preliminary qualifying match here at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Tuesday. Mohun Bagan is already half way through to the play-off stage, the next grade reserved for the winner, with a 2-1 ‘away’ win in the first leg of the preliminary round in Colombo.

The visitor arrived here without two of its Nigerians — forward Afeez Olayemi and defender Nasiru Opeyemi — owing to visa problems, while the third foreigner in the side — Ivory Coast medio Seka Jean Yapo — is likely to arrive on the day of the match. Like most of the Asian sides, the foreign inputs always determine a lot on how a team performs.

The situation is no different for the Colombo side though coach Mohammad Roomy Hasan put up a brave face. He said: "We played good football in the first meeting. We have a balanced side and hope to find the right replacements and play attacking football."

The visitor needs nothing, but a win to stay afloat in the tournament and Hasan needs to find the right mix that could upset the rhythm of Mohun Bagan, which has not lost a match so far in the season.

Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen also has host of injury issues with the likes of midfielder Kean Lewis and defenders Equatoguinean Eduardo Ferreira, Kingshuk Debnath and Raju Gaekwad remaining doubtful for the match. The good news for the host will be the return of its key winger Haitian Sony Norde, who missed Bagan’s previous two outings with injury.

“It is an important game and we have to forget that we need a win up and play with the right intensity to secure a ticket to the next stage,” Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen said ahead of the match.

The host needs a draw to reach the next stage, but Sen would be looking for a win which would provide a physhological boost to his side ahead of the important I-League against traditional rival East Bengal on Sunday.

Kick-off: 7 p.m.

No live telecast.

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