Hosts Dhaka Abahani Limited will face touring Maziya Sports and 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.
Source: United News of Bangladesh