Abahani coach Mario Lemos is finally sensing an opportunity to progress to the next stage of the AFC Cup following a commanding 5-0 win over Manang Marshyangdi Club in their penultimate group match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
“When we first played against Manang Marshyangdi in Nepal, I didn’t feel much; rather I wanted to return home with points and we did that. But I really feel that we have a good chance to progress to the next stage [Inter-zonal play-off] after today’s match,” Lemos said at the post-match press conference.
“We are now on top of the table after Chennaiyin drew with Minerva Punjab. I am happy because now we depend on ourselves and will not depend on others when we will play our last group match against Minerva Punjab,” said Lemos, who was also happy for not conceding any goals.
“We had worked for this match and controlled the game throughout the 90 minutes. We outplayed the Nepalese outfit in every department. The result could have been 8-0, but I am happy with a 5-0 margin and happier not to concede any goals,” said the Portuguese.
Man-of-the-match Sunday Chizoba was also happy with his goal even though he could have scored at least three goals in the match.
“I want to thank God. It is not just me; all the teammates worked hard work and executed the plan accordingly,” said Sunday.
Manang Marshyangdi Club’s coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung congratulated Abahani for putting up a dominating performance but felt the hot and humid weather was a big barrier for his charges to perform.
“Firstly, we made many mistakes and Abahani availed those chances. We gifted them three goals. However, we could show only 35 percent of performance due to the hot and humid weather and the boys could not stand properly in such weather,” said Chhiring.