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Minerva look to end AFC Cup campaign on high against Abahani Dhaka

Out of contention for a knockout berth after five drawn games, Minerva Punjab would look to end their maiden AFC Cup campaign on a high when they take on group toppers Abahani Limited of Dhaka here Wednesday.

Though unbeaten so far, Minerva are at the third place in the Group E points table with five points from five matches.

Abahani are on top with 10 points, ahead of Chennaiyin FC (8 points), going into the final day of group phase Wednesday.

Only one team progresses to the Inter-Zone Semifinals from Group E.

Wednesday's match at Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium is an inconsequential one as far as Minerva are concerned but it will have a huge impact on Abahani, as well as Chennaiyin.

A win for Abahani will straightaway take them to the Inter-Zone Semifinals, irrespective of the result of the match between Chenniyin and bottom-placed Manang Marshyangdi Club of Nepal in Kathmandu.

But, if Minerva win or hold Abahani and Chennaiyin beat Manang, then the Indian Super League side will make the Inter-Zone Semifinals. That way, Minerva can do a favour to Chennaiyin, while bowing out without losing a match.

The first leg match between Minerva and Abahani had ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Minerva come into the match after a 1-1 draw with Chennaiyin here on June 19 while Abahani had thrashed Manang 5-0 at home.

"Even if we win against Abahani, we are not qualifying for the knock-out. In that case, it will be a rare case with a team not progressing from the group stage despite not losing a match," Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj said.