Mohun Bagan edged past Dhaka Abahani to seal the AFC CUP Group Stage spot

Mohun Bagan made an epic comeback from a goal down to win the match by 3-1 and entered the AFC Cup group match in a remarkable fashion. 

At the iconic Salt Lake stadium, Mohun Bagan took on Dhaka Abahani in the final AFC Cup playoff match. Coach Juan Ferrando fielded Jason Cummings and Armando Sadiku together for the first time and surprisingly no central defensive midfielder was in the lineup. 

Mohun Bagan XI: Vishal Kaith (GK), Asish Rai (Hnamte), Anwar Ali, Hector Yuste, Subhasish Bose (C), Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad (Glen), Hugo Boumous, Liston Colaco (Ashique), Jason Cummings (Kiyan), Armando Sadiku (Manvir).

From the very first minute, Dhaka Abahani came into the match with an attacking intent. The Abahani attackers looked threatening and tried to attack using the pace of Cornelius Stewart. In the 17th minute, an easy goal was gifted by Vishal Kaith when he failed to handle a cross from the left-hand side and dropped the ball in front of Cornelius Stewart. Stewart put the ball inside with no mistake and Dhaka Abahani took the lead in this highly anticipated clash. 

As the game went on Mohun Bagan settled in and started creating chances. In the 37th minute, the Mariners grabbed the equalizers when Liston Colaco was fouled by Sushanto Tripura, the referee blew his whistle for the penalty. Bagan's Aussie sticker Jason Cummings scored from the spot and kept his scoring run intact.
After leveling back, the entire control of the game shifted into the hands of the Mariners. They created some impressive chances but failed to capitalize and the first half ended in all square. 

From the very beginning of the second half, Mohun Bagan looked a completely different side. They started attacking frequently and the Abahabi defence started to fall apart. In the 58th minute, Mohun Bagan scored the second goal from an eye-catching build-up. Liston Colaco who had an amazing game passed the ball to Jason Cummings on the top of the box. Cummings played a through pass to Boumous who was standing unmarked on the left-hand side. Right after getting the ball, Hugo put a hard grounder ball for Armado Sadiku but the ball went into the goal from the legs of Milad Soleimani resulting in an own goal. 

But, just after two minutes the Armenian hero Armando Sadiku scored the first goal in green and maroon, and Mohun Bagan got a two-goal lead in this match. From a quickly taken corner, Hugo Boumous sent the ball to Liston and Liston passed to Sadiku who placed the ball inside the goal. 

The rest of the game lacked real intent from the Abahani side. Mohun Bagan easily won by three goals to one and joined Odisha FC in the group stage as the second Indian side. 

Hector Yuste, the experienced Spanish defender of Mohun Bagan had a very good debut in this match and created a solid defensive duo with young Anwar Ali. Anirudh Thapa and Liston Colaco looked effective in this match. Jason Cummings looked sharper than a couple of matches and scored from the spot to win the Man of the Match award.

The entire team looked much fitter and arguably played the best football of the season so far. With the addition of injured Hamill & Dimitri, this team is going to cook something definitely great in upcoming matches.

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