Match Preview: Mohun Bagan vs Maziya Sports & Recreation
Mohun Bagan host Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives in a Group E AFC game on Wednesday, but it’s no secret that the Mariners’ entire focus is on the match against Aizwal FC on Saturday, when the I-League title race is likely to be decided in the Mizoram Capital.
It’s an important game for both the Mariners as well as the Maziya as both of them have a win and loss apiece going into their third fixture. While Bagan bounced back from their opening 1-2 loss against BFC with a thumping 3-1 win over Abahani Dhaka, Maziya went down to BFC after beating Abahani.
On Wednesday, though, Sen will not field his best team. He will be resting many of his key players in order to have them fresh for the title deciding clash against Aizwal. But for Yusa, no other foreign player is in the squad of 18. Also tested are GK Debjit and defender Anas, two key members.
Shibinraj Kunniyil is likely to start under the bar with Kingshuk and Bikramjit Singh in Central Defence. Midfielder Kean Lewis is set to make a return from injury while either Jeje Lalpekhlua or Balwant Singh will start up front with U-22 player Azharuddin Mallick.
It will be tough test for the Mariners against the champions of the 2016 Dhivehi Premier League, who are set to field 4 foreigners. They have in in their ranks Serbian striker Aleksandar Rakic, defenders Andrei Cordos ( Romania ) and Milos Kovacevic, as well as Kyrgyzstan national team GK Pavel Matiash.
Apart from these foreign players, Bagan also needs to keep an eye on forward and captain Abdulla Asadullah and midfielder MD. Umair.
In last season’s AFC Cup, Bagan had defeated Maziya 5-2 in their home match in Guwahati while the away game ended in 1-1. Incidentally, current Maziya coach Marjan Sekulovski was last season in charge of Yangon United, who were in Bagan’s group. As coach of Yangon United, Sekulovski lost 2-3 to Mohun Bagan away and drew the home leg 1-1 in the 2016 AFC Cup.
It could be advantage Maziya, given Mohun Bagan’s preoccupation with Aizwal.
Date: April 19, 2017
Time: 19:00 (IST)
Venue: RABINDRA SAROBAR STADIUM, KOLKATA, INDIA