Dhaka, May 15 (UNB) - Dhaka Abahani Limited beat former Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC by 3-2 goals at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday to keep their hope for becoming the AFC Cup 2019 Group E champions alive.
Kervens Belfort, Masih Saighani and Mamunul Islam Mamun netted one goal each for Dhaka Abahani while CK Vineeth and Isaac Vanmal Sawma scored one goal each for Chennaiyin FC.
Abahani have now seven points from four matches with two wins, one draw and one loss while Channaiyin FC have the same points from four matches with two wins, one loss and a draw.
But, Chennaiyin’s remained on the top of the four-team Group by virtue of the better goal difference. Chennaiyin FC are enjoying better goal difference with 2 plus goals while Abahani’s followed them with 1 plus goal.
Dhaka Abahani got an early blow while forward CK Vineeth opened the account for Chennaiyin FC in the 6th minute (1-0).
The Indian forward netted the ball with his right-footed shot from the centre of the box, utilising the corner of Isaac Vanmal Sawma.
Then, Dhaka Abahani starved Chennaiyin FC of possession but the Indian side thwarted all of their attempts.
The hosts wasted some good chances to level the score in the first half.
Dhaka Abahani began the second half with full domination and netted two goals in a span of only five minutes.
In the 64th minute, forward Kervens Belfort netted the first goal for the Dhanmondi-outfit with a right-footed shot from the left side of the box (1-1) while forward Masih Saighani doubled the margin by a direct corner in the 69th minute (2-1).
But the touring side levelled the score in the 74th minute as their Isaac Vanmal Sawma netted the goal with a precise strike (2-2).
However, hosts put pressure on Chennaiyin FC with their attacking football and bagged its fruits in the 88th minute.
This time, midfielder Mamunul Islam Mamun sent the ball into the net with his right-footed shot (3-2).
In the other group match on the day, Nepalese champions Manang Marshyangdi shared points with 10-man Minerva Punjab of India after playing a 1-1 draw at ANFA Complex in Kathmandu.
In the 39th minute, midfielder Thoiba Singh put Minerva Punjab ahead with a precise strike (1-0).
The Indian side got a blow just before of the half time (45+3 minute) when defender Pratheek Joshi received a red card.
Minerva Punjab started to play in the second half with 10 men.
On the other hand, hosts Manang Marshyangdi tried hard to reduce the margin in the game and bagged its fruit in the 81st minute when their Nigerian recruit Oluwashina Shaheed Azeez levelled the score (1-1).
With day’s draw, Minerva Punjab and Manang Marshyangdi remained in their previous third and fourth slot respectively.
Minerva Punjab earned four points while Manang Marshyangdi collected 2 points from their four matches.
A suicidal goal by Brazilian defender Wellington Priori forced Dhaka Abahani to concede a 0-1 defeat in their last Group E encounter against Chennaiyin FC at the Arena Stadium in Ahmedabad on April 30 last.
Abahani, six-time Bangladesh Professional Football League champions, will have to win the next match to keep their hope alive in the AFC Cup.
In the next Group E matches, Abahani will take on Manang Marshyangdi on June 19 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium and will play against Minerva Punjab on June 26 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India.
Dhaka Abahani playing XI: Shahidul Alam Sohel (C), Rayhan Hasan, Nabib Newaz Ziban, Waly Faisal, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Sohel Rana, Sunday Chizoba Nwadialu, Jewel Rana, Masih Saighani, Kervens Belfort, Saad Uddin
Chennaiyin FC playing XI: Karanjit Singh, Eli Sabia Filho, Anirudh Thapa, Ganesh Dhanapal, Jerry Lalrinzual, Laldinliana Renthlei, Mailson Veriato, Francisco Fernandes, C K Vineeth, Christopher Herd, Isaac Vanmal Sawma