Abahani players determined to create more history
Dhaka: Abahani Limited Dhaka are far from daunted at having to play DPR Korea's 4.25 SC in the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semi-final.
The South and East Zonal winners face off in the first leg at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday and the Abahani players are raring to continue from where they left off in the group stage.
The six-time Bangladesh Premier League champions advanced with a record of four wins, one draw and one defeat to reach their first AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semi-final and striker Nabib Newaj Ziban said this has whetted their appetite for more success.
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"It’s a great feeling to be part of history.” declared Ziban. "However we are not satisfied with just that.
“We emerged (zonal) champions in a group filled with champions (in Group E). So, I hope we can end up (AFC Cup) champions as well. It will be a matter of great pride.”
শুভ জন্মদিন আবাহনীর নাম্বার নাইন ও দেশসেরা স্ট্রাইকার নাবীব নেওয়াজ জীবন। আবাহনী লিমিটেড আপনার উত্তরোত্তর সাফল্য কামনা করে।Posted by আবাহনী লিমিটেড on Saturday, 17 August 2019
Ziban credited head coach Mario Lemos for the team’s successful campaign.
“We have played under him for the national team as well. He is a wonderful coach who we have learnt many things from.”
Although 4.25 will be unfamiliar opposition, Ziban said Abahani have done their homework.
“We don’t know that great a deal about them but we have been watching their videos to learn and analyse their style of play.”
Striker Sunday Chizoba, a star performer for Abahani in the 2019 AFC Cup, was also upbeat about the team’s prospects.
“We have worked very hard for it. The support has been great from everywhere, be it the manager or the management. Yes, 4.25 are good but so are we.
"Plus, this being our home ground and with the support of the fans and with our power, effort and God, we can surely qualify for the (Inter-Zone) final.”
Right-back Rayhan Hasan is hoping for the stands to be filled for the crucial tie.
“It’s our home ground. I’m counting on the fans to make a huge difference for us.”
The veteran added: “Our team is ready and we can make it to the (Inter-Zone) final. Our players are going to give their 100 percent. Our first target is to win our home match and then we will think about the next match.”
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