Mohun Bagan SG take on Nepal’s Machhindra FC in AFC Cup preliminary round two clash

On Wednesday, Mohun Bagan Super Giant will play Nepal’s Machhindra FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. The goal is to get one step closer to the AFC Cup group stages.

The AFC Cup South Zone playoff game is planned for August 22. The victor advances to face either Club Eagles of the Maldives or Abahani Limited Dhaka of Bangladesh. If they win their playoff match, the Mariners will guarantee their spot in the AFC Cup for a third consecutive season.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant have failed to get past the inter-zonal semi-finals in the last two AFC Cup competitions. They were eliminated in 2021 by FC Nasaf of Uzbekistan and in 2022 by runners-up Kuala Lumpur City FC.

Bagan enters the match having suffered a loss to East Bengal FC in the Durand Cup Kolkata Derby. Given the calibre of their team, Juan Ferrando’s team will be the favourite for the match.

Should Mohun Bagan SG go to the AFC Cup group stages, big-name international acquisitions like Armando Sadiku and Jason Cummings would be anticipated to play a significant impact. Ferrando cautioned that despite the expectations placed on them, the pair still needs time to adjust to the club.

“The players like (Jason) Cummings, Armando (Sadiku) came last week, they need time to adapt. I know everyone is excited about Cummings and Armando. It’s normal. They players need time and are training to work like a team,” he stated in the pre-match press conference.

“Don’t forget, it’s difficult to come to India, the mentality, the culture, a lot of things change. It’s necessary to trust in the process and go step by step.

“Game by game, we will be improve. The most important thing is the process. I’m sure in the next match our performance would be much better,” he further said.

Anwar Ali, a defender and one of Mohun Bagan SG’s newest additions, was with Ferrando. The defender, who had played for FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL), signed a four-year contract with the Mariners in July. The young player moreover expressed pride at joining a prestigious club like Mohun Bagan SG and expressed optimism that his outstanding achievements will continue.

To play for this club is a dream. Every football player aspires to play for this team. In the pre-game news conference, Ali stated, “I want to play the same way I did previously.

According to Ali, his colleagues are excited for the forthcoming game against Machhindra FC.

“We are all ready, it will be a big and tough game. Boys are really excited to play this game, we are looking forward,” he signed off.

Anwar Ali, a freshly signed center-back for Mohun Bagan SG, expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity to represent the team at the continental level.

“Playing for this club has always been a dream of mine. I am definitely looking forward to playing in front of them at the AFC Cup since it has such a huge and fervent fan following,” added Ali. “For this game, we must focus and give everything we have.”

Machhindra FC, however who entered the league in the Preliminary Round 1, beat Paro FC (Bhutan) to secure their place against Mohun Bagan in Round 2.

“Mohun Bagan dropped their most recent game to East Bengal, and we’ll aim to take advantage of it”, stated head coach Kishor Kumar. “We must maintain a tight defensive shape and construct our assaults from there since they have a terrific offence.” At 7 p.m. IST, the moreover VYBK in Kolkata will host the Mohun Bagan SG vs. Machhindra FC match, which will be broadcast live on Insports TV.

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