The Green Boys flying high || Opponent Watch ft. Maziya Sports and Recreation

Courtesy : AFC Media 

After securing two wins from the first two matches of the Indian Super League now the time comes to shift our focus to the AFC Cup as the Mariners are all set to lock horns with Maziya S&RC in our second AFC Cup matchday. Mohun Bagan will go into the match on the back of a narrow win over Bengaluru FC. In this article, we will have a look at our next AFC CUP opponent Maziya Sports and Recreation. 

Maziya, The Maldivian Giant:

Maziya, also known as "The Green Boys" was founded in the year 1996. After playing in lower divisions for years, Maziya finally set foot into the first division in 2006. Since then Maziya won the Dhivehi Premier League (first division of Maldives) for a record four times. 
Apart from the league titles they also won significant trophies like the Maldives FA Cup thrice, the Maldives FA Charity Shield four times, the President's Cup and the Male League once and established themselves as a giant club of Maldives.

The Green Boys in the AFC Cup:

Maziya made their first AFC Cup appearance in 2013. In these long ten years, they have played 42 matches and have never crossed the hurdle of the group stage. Their best performance came in the year 2017 when they finished second in the group where they beat Mohun Bagan twice. 

Stats in the AFC CUP: 

Match played: 42
Wins: 12
Draws: 8
Defeats: 22
Biggest Win: 6-1 vs. Kelantan (Malaysia)

Previous meetings with Mohun Bagan:

Mohun Bagan and Maziya met each other for the first time in 2016. Both the club met six times since then, out of which Mohun Bagan won 3 times and Maziya won 2 times. One match ended in a draw. Last time when both the teams engaged in a battle Bagan convincingly defeated them by 5-2.

Current Maziya Team ( formations and playing style ) :

Maziya S&RC registered an impressive 3-1 victory over Bashundhara Kings in their first AFC Cup match this season. 
In that particular match, Maziya played with a defensive approach and they had only 26% of the ball possession. But they looked extremely clinical and finished off the chances they created and found the back of the net thrice. As they face Mohun Bagan in their away match their approach toward the match could be similar. 

Maziya started the match with a 4-3-3 against Bashundhara. But as the match kept on going, it became more of a 4-1-4-1 with one of the central midfielders dropping deep and playing as a blocker right in front of the defense line.

( Usual Formation 4-3-3 )

( 4-1-4-1 while defending )
In this formation, Maziya put more men on the flanks which can isolate our wing-backs in the upcoming match. In a 3-5-2, wing-backs of Mohun Bagan have an important role to play by continuously running up and down, putting crosses while attacking, and tracking back to help the defense while defending. With this 4-1-4-1 formation Maziya use to have more numbers on the flanks and might outnumber us in that particular region of the field.  

🔴 Mohun Bagan 🔵 Maziya
 [ numbers used on the board are random]

As shown in the board the wing-backs of Mohun Bagan will always find them in a 2v1 situation. In the middle, there will still be 3 of the Maziya Midfielders denying our attack from the middle. 

Their three forwards constantly switch positions between themselves which confuses the opposition defense quite a bit. They don't shy away from taking long shots when they get the chance. In the last match, they scored two goals from outside the box. Their wingers are quite skillful as well. They always try to cut inside with the ball to link up with their midfielders or to play a through ball to their striker.

Solid foreign center-back:

Branimir Jočić and Sebastijan Antić looked pretty solid in their first match. They stood like a wall against the likes of Robson Robinho, and Sheikh Morsalin.

Balabanović, the talisman:

Vojislav Balabanović, a versatile attacker from Serbia leads the line of Maziya. He had a talismanic performance against Bashundhara Kings and also scored the first goal of Maziya S&RC. 

Clash of Titans:

Mohun Bagan has one of the most valuable rosters among the participants in this competition. Hence whenever they play a game, they ultimately become favourites to win the encounter as their heavy star power is quite unmatchable. Although Juan Ferrando's army coming with a back to back 8 game winning streak, but Monday's match will not be a cakewalk for Mohun Bagan at all. It will be a battle between Titans, The champions of India vs The champions of Maldives. Both teams will go into the match with 3 points and will give their all, as a win in this match will ensure their firm hold on the top of the group. 

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