Sen: We want to overcome adversity

‘He was smashing it past me’ – England keeper Heaton on Hudson Odoi

Ahead of Mohun Bagan’s AFC Cup group clash with Abahani, the former’s coach, Sanjoy Sen, has said they are excited about the opportunity to defy the odds and produce a strong performance despite being jaded as a result of a busy schedule.

Mohun Bagan beat Bengaluru 3-0 on Saturday in the I-League courtesy of a brace from Katsumi Yusa and a single goal from Daryll Duffy.

That result has seen them reduce the gap between themselves and leaders Aizawl to just four points.

Mohun Bagan host East Bengal on the weekend and so many feel that they are likely to pick a weakened team for the AFC Cup match with Bangladeshi outfit, Abahani on Tuesday.

Speaking in the build-up to the midweek clash, Sen denied that he would prioritise his side’s domestic campaign over their continental challenge.

“We have to overcome adversities,” Sen said.

“We have been able to overcome the obstacles, be it the flights between AFC Cup games and I-League games or be it the international break.”

Sony Norde created three assists in the win over Bengaluru and it remains to be seen whether the Haitian will start along with captain Yusa.

Abahani football manager Satyajit Das Rupu says that his team will be motivated regardless of whether they face Mohun Bagan’s strongest 11 or not.

“They have the advantage of playing at home ground and in front of home crowds. Nothing is impossible, but the boys would have to perform,” Rupu explained.

“If you play with full dominance for a 90-minute game but fail to score and concede goal, it has no meaning.

“You have to score to win the match against Mohun Bagan. Players were briefed details about their mistakes of the previous match, if they will not repeat the mistakes and will not blunder in front of goal-mouth, we can expect to return with three points.”

Abahani lost 2-0 to Maziya in their AFC Cup opener while Mohun Bagan lost 2-1 to Bengaluru in their first match. Whoever finishes on the wrong side of Tuesday’s game will not qualify for the knock-out stages of this prestigious competition.