AFC CUP 2019

Last-gasp Abahani sink Chennai

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, May 16,2019

 
 

Abahani Limited midfielder Mamunul Islam (2nd-L) celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal against Chennaiyin FC during their AFC Cup match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.— New Age photo

Midfielder Mamunul Islam struck late in the second half to help reigning Bangladesh Premier League champions Abahani Limited grab a dramatic 3-2 win over Chennaiyin FC in their AFC Cup tie at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
Abahani squandered a second-half lead before Mamunul’s later winner, which also now brightened their chances of making it to the next round from south zone’s four-team Group E.
Haitian forward Kervens Belfort, Afghan defender Masih Saighani scored the two other for the Dhanmondi outfit while forward CK Vineeth and midfielder Isaac Vanmalsawma netted one goal apiece for Chennai.
Chennaiyin dominated the first half to take lead as early in the sixth minute of the game when CK Vineeth’s struck with right-footed drive from the center of the box.
Kervens Belfort made the scoreline 1-1 for Abahani from a counterattack in the 64th minute as his right footed shot from the left side of the box following a long free kick pass by Masih Saighani from Abahani’s own zone found the back of the net.
Masih Saighani gave Abahani a 2-1 lead five minutes later utilising a free kick opportunity from right side as his left-footed drive found the top left corner of the net.
Chennaiyin defender Eli Sabia fouled Abahani’s midfielder Jewel Rana at the right flank and Syrian referee Hanna Hattab awarded the free kick to Abahani.
Isaac Vanmalsawma leveled the scoreline 2-2 for Chennaiyin in the 74th minute by a right-footed drive from the centre of the box upon receiving a pass from Thoi Singh.
Just when it looked like the game would finish in draw, Mamunul put a decisive blow on Chennai with his winner from the top left corner of the box.
Despite the loss Chennaiyin maintained the top spot in the table by virtue of difference as they are now level with Abahani with seven points from four outings.
Earlier, Abahani suffered their only defeat in the tournament against the same opponent by an own goal in their first-leg in Ahmedabad on April 30.
Abahani began their campaign with a 1-0 win against Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club in Kathmandu before a 2-2 draw against another Indian outfit Minerva Punjab in Dhaka.
Chennaiyin FC defeated Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club 2-0 after starting with a goalless draw against their fellow Indian opponents Minerva.
In the day’s another Group-E match, Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club and India’s Minerva Punjab played out a 1-1 draw at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu.
In their next matches, Abahani will face Manang Marshyangdi Club of Nepal in Dhaka on June 19 before taking on Minerva Punjab at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati on June 26.

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