Dhaka, Jun 25 (UNB)— Table toppers Dhaka Abahani Limited will face Indian team Minerva Punjab in their last Group E match to qualify for the next round of AFC Cup 2019.
The match will take place at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday at 4:30pm (BdST).
Six-time Bangladesh Professional Football League champions Abahani will create history if they reach the next round.
Abahani also have a fair chance to be the group champions after a draw with Minerva Punjab as they have upper hand in points, goal difference and scoring higher number of goals than that of their main contender Chennaiyin FC.
Former Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC will play Nepalese champions Manang Marshyangdi Club in their last group match on Wednesday at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu.
Abahani topped the Group E list with 10 points from five matches with three wins, one draw and one loss and a better goal difference (11-5=6). Channaiyin FC were in the 2nd slot with eight points from five matches with two wins, two draws and one loss with a goal difference of (6-4=2).
Indian I-League champions Minerva Punjab remained at the 3rd slot securing five points from as many matches with five draws while win-less Manang Marshyangdi Club remained at the bottom in the four-team group with two points from five matches with two draws.
In their last match, Abahani crushed Manang Marshyangdi by 5-0 goals at Bangabandhu National Stadium while Minerva Punjab played to 1-1 draw with Chennaiyin FC at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati on June 19.
Dhaka Abahani have brought some changes in their strategy for the last group match as the participation of their Nigerian striker Sunday Chizoba and Brazilian midfielder Wellington Priori become uncertain.
Sunday is repeatedly facing Indian visa problem for his Nigerian passport and failed to accompany his team to India, alongside the injury problem of midfielder Priori.
Abahani Manager Satyajit Das Rupu on Tuesday said that if Sunday gets visa by Tuesday night then he will fly to India before the match.s
“We’re making some changes. If Sunday misses Wednesday’s game, then Saad Uddin will play in his position and Wali Faisal will fill up Saad’s position,” he added.
Dhaka Abahani started their AFC Cup campaign beating Manang Marshyangdi Club by 1-0 goal in their first match in Kathmandu on April 3, but played to 2-2 draw with Minerva Punjab in their second match in Dhaka on April 17.
In their third match, the Dhanmondi-based outfit conceded a 0-1 defeat against Chennaiyin FC at the Arena Stadium in Ahmedabad on April 30, but they defeated Chennaiyin FC by 3-2 goals at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on June 15 to keep their hope for becoming the AFC Cup 2019 Group E champions alive.
On the other hand, Minerva Punjab started their AFC Cup campaign playing to 0-0 draw with compatriots Chennaiyin FC in their first match in Ahmedabad on April 3.
After their second draw (2-2) with hosts Dhaka Abahani Limited in Dhaka on April 17, Punjab again played to 2-2 draw with Manang Marshyangdi Club at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on April 30.
They became upset in their fourth match in Kathmandu on June 15 while Manang Marshyangdi forced them to a 1-1 draw with a late equaliser.
Standings of the Group E of the AFC Cup’ 2019 (Tabulating under match played, win, draw, loss, goal for/goal against and points):
Teams MP W D L GF GA GD P
Abahani Limited (BAN) 5 3 1 1 11 5 6 10
Chennaiyin FC (IND) 5 2 2 1 6 4 2 8
Minerva Punjab (IND) 5 0 5 0 6 6 0 5
Manang Marshyangdi (NEP) 5 0 2 3 3 11 -8 2