Dhaka Abahani conceded two away goals but managed to equalize twice against Maziya Sports & Recreation Club of the Maldives as the first-leg match of the AFC Cup Preliminaries at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Wednesday ended in a draw.
Despite the day’s draw, Maziya SRC have an advantage of scoring two away goals against Abahani.
Now Dhaka Abahani either have to win their away match against hosts Maziya SRC in Male on February 12 or it will have to be a more high-scoring draw than the result in Dhaka. Reproducing the 2-2 result will lead to extra-time and possibly penalties, while a lower-scoring draw will see Maziya qualify on away goals.
Of the day’s four goals, three were scored by the foreign booters. Touring Maziya SRC twice took the lead while Abahani Ltd leveled the margin later in the day’s keenly contested match.
Brazilian booter Mailson Veriato and Nigerian forward Suday Chizoba scored one goal each for Dhaka Abahani while Saint Vincent forward Cornelius Ezekiel scored one goal for Maziya SRC. The remaining Maldives goal was scored by forward Ibrahim Hussain.
After spoiling a series of chances, Maziya SRC took lead in the 41th minute when their forward Ibrahim Hussain tapped the ball home utilizing a killer assist from Cornelius Ezekiel, who beat Abahani defenders and goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel (1-0).
Just four minutes later, Brazilian booter Mielson Veriato equalized the margin for Dhaka Abahani in the stoppage time of the first half (1-1).
In the 59th minute, Abahani again went down in the race as Cornnelius scored the 2nd goal for Maziya (2-1)
In the 65th minute, Nigerian booter Sunday scored the 2nd goal for Abahani with a well-placed shot from inside the danger zone, off a long throw-in of Rayhan (2-2).
Dhaka Abahani got some good chances in the match, especially in the 40th minute Edgard power free kick saved by Maziya’s Afgan goalie Ovas. Abahani forwards gave few tough exam from Maziya's goalie.
On the other hand, all of Maziya's attacks were orchestrated by Cornelius who never stopped causing trouble for Abahani's defenders.
The return- leg match between the two teams will be held on February 12 in the Maldives capital Male.
Dhaka Abahani: Shahidul Alam Sohel (GK ), Rayhan Hasan, Nasir Chowdhury, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Sohel Rana, Nabib Newaz Jiban, Sunday Chizoba, Saad Uddin, Bernhardt Edgar ( Rubel Miya 76 min), Mailson Veriato and Kerbens Belfort.
Maziya SRC: Ovays Azizi ( GK), Mohamed Irufaan, Ibrahim Hussain (Abdulla 90+1), Hamza Mohamed (Hussain Nisahn, 46 min), Hassan Naiz ( Moosa Yeamin, 84 min ), Samoon Ali, Petar Planic, Sharif Mohammad, Aisam Ibrahim, Cornelius Ezekiel and Ahmad Abdulla.
The Argentine forward of Bashundhara Kings Hernan Barcos arrived in the capital on Wednesday morning to play for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football champions in the ensuing league and AFC Cup Football.
Officials of Bashundhara Kings welcomed the Argentine forward with their team jersey at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
Barcos is very delighted after wearing Jersey and said, “I know Bashundhara Kings is the Champions team, I want to be a member of another champions team of the Bashundhara Kings and that’s why I came here”.
Bashundhara Kings contracted him 10 months before, actually for the AFC Cup mission, Barcos wants to show his best in the AFC Cup as well as in the Bangladesh Premier League Football.
“They (Kings) have huge expectation in the AFC Cup, I will try to give my best in that competition” Barcos added, who collected information through internet regarding Bangladesh Football and the Bashundhara Kings before his arrival.
He said, “Daniel (Costa Rican 2018 World Cup playing booter) is playing for Bashundhara Kings and five foreign players are also playing in each team.”
Barcos played international matches for Argentina, He has also experiences of playing legendary footballer Lionel Messi. He remembered that sweet memories,“ Messi is very good team-mate. I learned many things from him. ”
After long journey, Barocs is taking rest today (Wednesday), Bashundhara have a practice match against Arambagh on Thursday. He will watch the match. Barcos will join in practice from Friday, Kings’s official informed.
Bashundhara will play their first match in the AFC Cup on March 11 at Banghabandhu National Stadium against TC Sports of the Maldives.
Satkhira District clinched the Chitra zone title of the Bangabandhu National Football Championship beating hosts Barisal District by 1-0 goal at the Abdur Rab Serniabad Stadium in Barisal on Tuesday.
Rahman scored the match-winner for Satkhira in the 79th minute.
Bagerhat, Gaibandha and Magura districts emerged plate champions from their respective zones on Tuesday.
Bagerhat emerged plate champions from Chitra zone after playing goalless draw with Borguna District at the Sheikh Helal Stadium, Gaibandha clinched the plate title of Brahmaputra Zone beating Dinajpur by 2-1 goals at Shah Abdul Hamid Stadium while Magura lifted plate title of Buriganga zone beating Narail by 2-1 goals Muktijoddha Asaduzzaman Stadium.
Besides, Sylhet District reached the Surma Zone final beating Moulvibazar by 2-1 goals at Sylhet Stadium on Tuesday.
In Seba Zone matches on Tuesday, Bangladesh Army outplayed Bangladesh Navy by 3-0 goals at BKSP ground in Savar while Cumilla Board played to a 1-1 draw with Rajshahi Board at Kamalapur Stadium to reach the zonal semifinals.
Hosts Dhaka Abahani Limited will face touring Maziya Sports & Recreation Club of the Maldives in the first leg-play-off match of the AFC Cup Football on Wednesday (February 5) at 5 pm at Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
In a pre-match press conference at the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) house on Tuesday, coaches of both the teams expressed their optimism to make good start by winning their first match.
Maziya SRC had experiences of beating Dhaka Abahani Limited in both leg group matches of the AFC Cup in 2018.
Maziya SRC Macedonian coach Marjan Sekulovski said, He didn’t want to compare the situation now and then, “In the last two years many things were happened and situation also changed, we want to perform on the day”.
“We have six players who have experiences of playing against Abahani, definitely it will give us extra motivations” Maziya coach said in a pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“Our aim is very much clear, we want to win tomorrow (Wednesday), We have that ability. We want to concentrate on our own game although Abahani is a very good team at home” Marjan Sekulovski added.
The Portugese coach of Dhaka Abahani Ltd Mario Lamos said “It is very important for us to make good start at home. We had almost one month training without the national players, but we are well prepared”.
“We had to find out the mistakes we have done in the Federation Cup. We want to start with a win. It is our main goal tomorrow, Last year Abahani played the zonal semi-final (AFC Cup). Mario motivated his players saying, “We reached the semifinal last season because we played well. I told my players, “Can we do better than last year? If we can, we certainly do better result”.
Maziya recently finished their domestic league as the champion and played their last match in league on January 28 against TC Sports.
Maziya remained unbeaten in the last 10 matches in the Maldives league.
On the other hand, Dhaka Abahani Ltd were eliminated from the quarter-final of the just concluded Federation Cup Football.
Abahani coach Mario wants to start international phase in new way, “AFC Cup is a different competition and I think they (Maziya) have not played as a team like Abahani yet. We respect them but we didn’t lost any game in AFC Cup at home, so Abahani should win.”
Mario always likes to keep clean sheet, it depend on defenders performance actually.
Abahani coach comment on defenders and said, “Badsha will not start (tomorrow), but he will be on the bench. Saad Uddin, Rayhan Hasan, Mailson and Nasir are ready to play. Nasir is very experienced player. Mailson brings more power and strength. We do hope we are able to stop the opposition to score goal.”
In last few years TC Sports, Maziya, Radiant Club of the Maldives beat Dhaka Abahani and Saif Sporting of Bangladesh in different AFC Cup matches and Maldives national team also won against Bangladesh.
Maziya captain Muhammad Irfan compared football standard of the two countries saying “Bangladesh standard is definitely good, but, we are ahead of them with personal skill”.
Dhaka Abahani captain Nabib Newaz Jibon disagreed with the Maziya captain and said, “We have the skill and ability, we played good football against the Maldives, but we don’t know why we can’t beat them.”
Abahani will play their away match against the same team in Male on February 12.