Business Standard

Chennayin to play Bangladesh's Abahani in last home game of AFC Cup


Press Trust of India Ahmedabad
Chennaiyin FC will take on Bangladesh's Abahani Limited Dhaka in their final 2019 AFC Cup Group E home game at The Arena Stadium here on Tuesday.
Going into this match-day three tie, both sides are locked on four points each with Chennaiyin top of the table on goal difference and Abahani second.
Chennayin will be buoyed after picking up their first AFC Cup group stage victory with a 2-0 win over Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi Club in their previous outing less than two weeks back, courtesy goals scored by skipper Mailson Alves and Australian midfielder Chris Herd.
The clash with Abahani will be the first of a double header, with Chennayin traveling to Bangladesh for the reverse fixture in a fortnight.
Chennaiyin come into match with seven clean sheets in their last 10 outings in all competitions, not having conceded in the AFC Cup campaign so far with four games played.
In terms of team news, Chennayin will be without Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto through injury with the rest of the squad fit.
Abahani, on the other hand, will be without their top-scorer Sunday Chizoba and defenders Tapu Barman and Tutul Hossain Badsha.
"Abahani will be a big test but the boys have trained well and are 100 per cent focused for what will be our last home game of the group stage. It can be a challenge to maintain motivation with such gaps between games, but credit to the boys they have been great professionals with some fantastic work rate," said Chennnayin head coach John Gregory.
"Defensively we've become more resolute, including the likes of (Mohammed) Rafi here who defend from the front."

From the current Chennayin squad for the AFC Cup, three players have faced Abahani in the recent past, namely Mizo sniper Jeje Lalpekhlua, Kerala forward CK Vineeth and Mizo central defender Zohmingliana Ralte.
Jeje and Vineeth played against them for Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC respectively in the 2017 AFC Cup, while Ralte turned out for Bengaluru FC in the 2018 version.
Nicknamed the Sky Blues, Abahani are coached by Portuguese tactician Mario Lemos who joined them in December last year after their Bangladesh Federation Cup triumph.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 10:50 PM IST

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