During the draw ceremony of the season's curtain-raising Federation Cup, Mohammedan SC's British coach Sean Lane eager wanted Abahani in the same group so that his charges could be tested, but he was perhaps the most frustrated person after the humiliating 0-3 defeat to the archrivals in their first meeting of the season.
Thirty-four days after that meeting, Lane will be hoping to avoid a repetition in the season's second meeting when they host Abahani in the Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Shaheed Dhirendranath Datta Stadium in Cumilla today.
"I won't call it a revenge match because it is another game and there is no pressure on us. We want to win," Lane said. "It is a prestigious game because of the big history between the sides, but whether it's a triumph over Abahani or Arambagh, we will get three points. But a win over Abahani carries a lot of prestige and we want to do it for our supporters," said Lane, whose side looked hapless in the face of Abahani's set-pieces and long throw-ins in the Fed Cup.
Lane once led his charges to a 4-0 of Abahani in 2018-19 season's league but they lost by the same margin in the last edition, which was however cancelled due to the pandemic.
Mohammedan have so far been inconsistent in the league with a win, defeat and draw in the last three matches while Abahani have won all three.
"It is a big match and also important for us to keep winning. We must win tomorrow," said Abahani's Portuguese coach Mario Lemos.
It will be only the second time that Mohammedan and Abahani will square off in a BPL encounter outside the capital, the first being their 2016 encounter in Gopalganj. The rivals played a total of 23 BPL matches with Abahani having the edge with 10 wins, 8 draws and 5 losses.