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Preview: Mohun Bagan vs Maziya

WHEN IS THE MATCH?

Maziya’s third group stage game of AFC Cup 2017 will take place against Mohun Bagan of India at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, in Kolkata. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 1830hrs, on Wednesday, 19th April 2017.

HOW DID THEY QUALIFY?

Maziya qualified for the AFC Cup as the Winners of Dhivehi Premier League in 2016. Even though this is the fifth appearance for Maziya in the AFC Cup they are yet to go beyond group stage.

Indian side Mohun Bagan qualified after defeating another Maldivian side Club Valencia 5-2 aggregate over two-legged playoffs. This is the fourth appearance for Mohun Bagan in the AFC Cup. Their best finish was when they progressed to Round of 16 in last year.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Maziya and Mohun Bagan have met twice earlier. Both meetings were in the last season’s AFC Cup group stage. Maziya were beaten 5-2 in Guwahati, while the corresponding fixture ended 1-1 at home after Jeje Lalpekhlua snatched a last gasp equalizer for Mohun Bagan.

Mohun Bagan’s Jeje netted thrice in two games against Maziya. And he has already scored twice against Club Valencia of Maldives in the playoffs.

Maziya’s Captain Asadhulla Abdulla and Ahmed Imaaz managed to score against Mohun Bagan in last year’s group stage encounter.

AFC Cup 2017

Maziya and Mohun Bagan have played two games in this year’s AFC Cup, and both teams have won against Abahani Limited Dhaka and have suffered loss against the group leaders Bengaluru FC. As both teams are leveled on 3 points, Mohun Bagan are ahead on second place through superior goal difference.

CURRENT DOMESTIC FORM

Maziya are still unbeaten in their domestic football competitions. They have played four games in the local season so far and have 100 percent winning record with conceding just one goal in over four games.

Ahead of their important AFC Cup encounter against Mohun Bagan, Maziya defeated rivals New Radiant 2-1 in last Thursday’s high-voltage game. Alexandar Rakic and second half substitute Hassan Shifaz were on the score sheet for Maziya.

Mohun Bagan currently sits at the top of the I-League point table leveled on 33 points from 16 games with Aizawl FC. Mohun Bagan are ahead on head-to-head record. They are unbeaten in the last six games in the league, as they recorded three wins and three draws. They have managed to score 25 goals in 16 games in the league, while the attacking duo of Jeje and Duffy netting almost the half of these goals.

They also boast the best defensive record in their respective league, as they have lost only once, conceding just 10 goals and clinching over 9 clean sheets from 16 games in the league.

FOREIGN PLAYERS AND COACHING STAFF

Maziya has been impressive under the guidance of their first ever foreign coach in Marjan Sekulovski of Macedonia.

So far he has proven his credentials with impressive displays from Maziya in the opening games of this season.

Maziya’s foreign players has been vital in their impressive displays in the early part of the season. Serbia’s Alexandar Rakic has been decisive scoring two goals while creating further goal scoring opportunities. He scored the important equalizer in the last Thursday’s game against their rivals New Radiant. His countrymen Miloš Kovačević along with Andrei Cordos from Romania has been rock solid at the back as well as their goal keeper Pavel Matiash from Kyrgyzstan has been reliable at the goal despite letting a last minute howler against Bengaluru FC.

On the other hand, Sanjoy Sen has been guiding the Mohun Bagan team since 2014. He has helped them win I-League in 2014-15 season and Federation Cup in 2016.

Foreign players in Mohun Bagan are Eduardo Ferreira from Brazil, Sony Norde from Haiti, Scottish striker in Darryl Duffy who had brief spells with English sides Swansea City and Hull City. An impressive Japanese midfielder in Katsumi Yusa completes their foreign players roster, who had been with them since 2013.

OTHER TEAM NEWS

Captain of Maziya, Asadhulla Abdulla has been in fine form leading the score chart with netting five times in the opening six games but hasn’t found the net in the last two games.

Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan striker Duffy is the leading goal scorer in their domestic league for the Indian side with 7 goals. Jeje has netted 5 goals in the league and 3 goals in the AFC Cup including the playoffs. Haitian winger Norde has been in fine form too as he snatched a crucial win against Minerva Punjab with a superb strike in the final five minutes of the game.

OTHER MATCHES IN THE GROUP

In AFC Cup Group E, Bengaluru FC will host Abahani Dhaka

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