Abahani Dhaka defeated Chennaiyin FC by 3-2 goals in the ongoing AFC Cup at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday. Kervens Belfort, Masih Saighani, and Mamunul Islam found the back of the net for Abahani while CK Vineeth and Isaac Vanmalsawma were the goal scorers for CFC.
Coming into the game with three changes from their previous game against the Dhaka-based club at home, Chennaiyin FC had made a perfect start in the game against Abahani Dhaka yesterday as they were put ahead by CK Vineeth in the sixth minute of the game. It was a corner kick from Issac of which the Indian footballer tapped the ball into the net at the far post.
However, the Bangladeshi club came into action and tested Karanjit at the other end in the 20th minute as the custodian managed to deflect the shot from Abahani striker Belfort. With not much further action in the first half of the game, the former ISL winners went into the break with an excellent 1-0 lead against the hosts.
Abahani found the equaliser 19 minutes after the change of sides when Belfort finally managed to go past Karanjit in the 64th minute. Belfort had found a long ball and went past Mailson Alves in the Chennaiyin defence before curling it in to find the opening goal for the home team.
Masih Saighani's curling free-kick bounced off the crossbar into the net in the 69th minute and this gave Abahani a 2-1 lead in the match. However, the team from Tamil Nadu didn’t have to wait long to find the equaliser as Issac tapped the ball in the 74th minute after receiving a pass from substitute Thoi Singh.
Karanjit then effected a brilliant save in the 84th minute to restrict Belfort from scoring but with two minutes to go in the regulation time, Mamunul Islam scored the winning goal for Abahani. The team from Bangladesh’s national capital secured three points from this win against CFC.
Abahani and Chennaiyin both are on seven points each and the ISL side is at the top of the table in Group E, thanks to their superior goal difference. The Indian club had earlier defeated Abahani Dhaka 1-0 in the former’s home game in Ahmedabad.
Chennaiyin FC will now meet former I League champions Minerva Punjab in Guwahati on 19 June.