AFC Cup 2023 Playoff: "It is like a final for us," says Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando

Juan Ferrando's side is aiming to book a place in the AFC Cup group stages by defeating Dhaka in their AFC Cup Preliminary Stage 2 clash.

Abishek Goswami
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Juan Ferrando | AFC Cup 2023 Playoff: "It is like a final for us," says Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando | Sportz Point

Both teams would like to win the game at the Salt Lake Stadium to book a place in the group stages of the AFC Cup. Dhaka Abahani is one of Bangladesh's top teams and arguably their most successful one in Asian competitions too. Both teams met at the same stage last year when Mohun Bagan sealed a spot in the main round with a 3-1 victory at Salt Lake Stadium. The Mariners defeated Machhindra FC from Nepal 3-1 in the Preliminary Round 2 match last week. Head Coach Juan Ferrando thinks that the focus will be the key to getting a positive result from this fixture.

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Mohun Bagan SG's match against Abahani Dhaka will kick off on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 7 pm IST at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. It is surely going to be an exciting match at least something big after this kind of a build-up.

"It's necessary for our focus to be to win in 90 minutes, says Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando

"The opponent is one we respect a lot. They are a good team with very good players in their squad. It won't be easy tomorrow because it's a final for 90 minutes. Both teams want the same goal, to be in the AFC Cup group stages, so it's necessary for our focus to be to win in 90 minutes," said Juan Ferrando at the pre-match press conference.

"It was different last season. They had a different team, so it's very important for us to maintain complete focus and get the job done," he further added. Juan Ferrando believes that Dhaka might cause problems with counterattacks.


"They are certainly very good at set-pieces, but one area where they can really hurt us is on transition. They've got fast wingers and forwards, and can control good spaces during transitions," he said.

Winger Liston Colaco feels confident about the game and admitted that he has to perform better than the last time around.

"We've had a good pre-season, and now we have played some good matches in the Durand Cup, so the boys are quite confident," he said. "But the most important thing for me is to improve my game every season and give my best for my team. For me, the numbers have to improve than what they were last season. It is important to focus on the areas that I did not perform as well and improve on them," he said.

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