The full focus of the football fans of Bangladesh and West Bengal will be on Salt lake Stadium, Kolkata when they will have euphoric occasions with the Indian giants ATK Mohun Bagan and the Dhaka giants Abahani Limited will play their vital encounter of the AFC Cup playoff match today.
The match will kick off at 7 pm (IST) with both the traditional giants of the neighboring country will combat to make their room in the group stage.
If the stipulate 90 minutes and the extra 30 minutes game will be end on a draw then the result will be decided by tie breaker and the winners will advance to the next round to join with the Chennaiyan FC, Maziya Sports and Recreation Club, Banshundhara Kings.
In their previous head to head meetings ATK Mohun Bagan are ahead of the Abahani Limited when in the same AFC Cup competition in 2017, the Kolkata Titan won the match by 3-1 at Salt Lake Stadium and in the returned leg, at the Bangbandhu Stadium the match was one all draw.
It will be a tough challenge for the both the host Mohun Bagan and the visitors Abahani Limited, the host will have some home advantage, as 60,000 capacity arena that takes its name and shape from the traditional tents used by passionate supporters of the Kolkata City.
Mohun Bagan bidding to qualify in the Playoff phase defeated Sri Lankan team Blue Star by 5-0 while Abahani got walkover against their Maldives opponents Valencia withdrew their name.
Abahani Limited went Kolkata with a setback when their Brazilian forward Dorielton Gomes is uncertain, as he has an injury but it would be a big plus point if the Brazilian will come round and would fit for the match.
Satiyajit Das Rupu, when talking to the Bangladesh Post from Kolkata after their pre-match press conference on Monday said that they are ready to take on the Mohun Bagan.
Rupu, said, “It’s very usual that as a host Mohun Bagan will have a big advantage, their home ground, home crowd. But I hope it will be very competitive match and we will win the match.”
Rupu replying to a query said that essentially they have idea about the opponents and they have chalked out plans to face on them – “Yes, we noticed about some of their danger men and we have plan to deal with them but players will have to execute in the field. They have also plan against us.”
“There is no scope to make any mistake, otherwise will have to face tough time.”
Rupu also said, “They are not under pressure, players will play their usual game, all are professional players, they are ready to take the challenge.”
About Dorielton’s availability for today’s match, Rupu, said, “He still uncertain but will try, if possible then will play.”
Bangladesh team’s captain Nabib Newaz Jibon, also expressed his expectation to win the match when he said in the press meet, “Our target to win the match and will try our best.”
But Abahani, included the Bosnia Herzegovina forward Nedo Turkovic on loan from Swadhinota Krira Sangha.
Meanwhile, the captain of the ATK Mohun Bagan Pritam Kotal is highly expected and confident about their win the match against Abahani when he expressed his belief in pre-match press conference on Monday.
Pritam when replying to a query to the media, with due respect to the opponents (Abahani) took the match as a final and said, “It will be another final match for us. I hope we will win tomorrow.
Abahani is strong team, national team competition and club football is different ball game. We will play our football. It will be an exciting match tomorrow, we are ready to take on the challenge.”
Pritam also honored Bangladesh football when he said, “Actually it’s always tough match against Bangladesh whether it is national team or club competition.”