ATK Mohun Bagan had a debut season to remember in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) but the season isn’t over for the Mariners as they have one of the biggest competitions in Asia to compete in this year, the AFC Cup 2021. The teams who don’t get an automatic spot in the upper tier – AFC Champions League, compete against one and another in the AFC Cup. As an Indian club has never won this trophy, Antonio Lopez Habas and his men would have their eyes set on the prize.
ATK Mohun Bagan are in the South and East Zone in the AFC Cup 2021 and are stacked in Group D with Bashundhara Kings (Bangladesh), Maziya Sports and Recreation (Maldives) and one club that would come through the qualification process. Here’s how their group is shaping up ahead of the matches in May.
Bangladesh Federation Cup winners will be looking to give a tough fight to the Mariners in the group stage of the AFC Cup 2021. Champions in the Bangladesh Premier League from 2018-19 were sitting strong on the top of the table this season as well before it got cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The centre forward partnership of Raul Becerra and Robinho would be one to watch out for as they score the majority of goals for the Bangladesh team. The young Bangladeshi players in Masuk Miah Zoni, Mohammad Ibrahim, Mahbubur Rahman and Biplu Ahmed can surprise the Mariners and they’ll have to be wary of them.
ATK Mohun Bagan take on Bashundhara Kings on May 20 2021, and the two Spanish coaches would be eager to get the better of their counterpart.
MAZIYA SPORTS AND RECREATION
The Male-based club competes in the Dhivehi Premier League, Maldives’ top division. Founded in 1996, the club has won nine major league titles in the Maldives. It is a team that is dominated by local Maldivian players but also has a couple of top overseas players in the squad. This squad dynamic would help them be competitive in the AFC Cup 2021 given the three foreign player rule in the tournament.
Their manager Risto Vidakovic has decent managerial experience in the various Spanish leagues and will be up against a familiar face from Spanish football in Habas. They are up against the Mariners on May 17 and it promises to be an exciting encounter.
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