Mohun Bagan Super Giant defeated Abahani Limited Dhaka 3-1 in the AFC Cup playoffs on Tuesday at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata thanks to an incredible second-half comeback.
In the first half, the visitors dazzled with their ability to counterattack, capitalizing on their quick bursts to create perilous situations.

Mario Lemos’ strategies paid off in the 17th minute as their star striker Cornelius Stewart took advantage of Vishal Kaith’s poor goalkeeping performance to score against the flow of play.
A crucial turning point occurred in the 37th minute when Liston Colaco was fouled, resulting in Jason Cummings’ left-footed penalty kick to level the score before halftime.
Milad Sheikhi Soleimani, the Iranian center back who had been leading their defense flawlessly, quickly changed from hero to villain when he put the ball in his own net while attempting to clear a deft cross from Hugo Boumous.


After that, Mohun Bagan turned things up in style with Armenian attacker Armando Sadiku scoring to end the game within an hour.
Following the victory, Mohun Bagan was guaranteed a spot in the South Zone group stage, where they would play against the winners of the Indian Super Cup, Odisha FC, Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh, and Maziya Sports & Recreation Club of the Maldives.
Mohun Bagan also overcame Abahani after defeating them by the same margin at the same stage of the previous season.

With Liston Colaco partnering star attacker Jason Cummings up front in a 3-5-2 shape, Juan Ferrando tried to get the desired outcome, but the Australian World Cupper continued to play wastefully.

Despite their best efforts, Cummings were unable to capitalize on an early scoring opportunity because Mohammad Sahidul Alam, the Abahani goalie, made a simple stop. The match featured end-to-end action, with Mohun Bagan attempting daring tries from the left wing but failing to complete each one.


In the 20th minute, Boumous nearly found Asish Rai in the box with a well timed through ball, but Abahani’s defenders blocked it. All during the game, Soleimani-led Abahani’s defense demonstrated its prowess. Boumous was hauled down in the box in the 28th minute, but the referee rejected their request for a penalty.
Sahal Abdul Samad, a top forward for India, had two chances back-to-back that put Abahani’s defense to the test, but the opposition held strong. Sahal maintained his composure but lost a chance to profit.
When Mohun Bagan secured the lead with an own goal in the second half, the momentum was radically altered.
Boumous’ spectacular run resulted in a cross that Soleimani directed into his own net. Abahani had little chance of preventing their second straight loss in two seasons as Mohun Bagan appeared to be a completely different team in the second half.

Stewart led the assault superbly, causing Kaith to experience some early trepidation. Stewart had just scored the game-winning goal against Club Eagles to help Abahani advance in the preliminary round.
Abahani nearly took the lead again in the last seconds of the first half with a deflected header from a freekick, but Kaith was able to score by turning onto the post.
The host team triumphed in the second half, overturning the early deficit to secure their spot in the group.


The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will host the final AFC Cup in 2023–24, which will be the 19th iteration of the secondary club football competition in Asia.

In place of an all-year-round (spring to autumn) calendar, this is the first and only AFC Cup season to have a two-year (autumn to spring) schedule.

Al-Seeb held the title after winning their first AFC Cup championship in 2022. They won’t be able to defend their title, though, because they were eliminated from their local top division league.

If they have not already qualified through their domestic play, the tournament champions will immediately enter the qualifying play-offs for the 2024–25 AFC Champions League Elite.

History of Mohun Bagan

Early years of formation (1880s)

Bhupendra Nath Bose was the club’s inaugural President.
The origins of Mohun Bagan AC date back to the 1880s, when young people from the area of what is now Fariapukur Lane in Shyambazar set out to find a suitable location to start a football club. They came across a marble palace called Mohun Bagan Villa, which was owned by the family of a prominent jute trader named Kirti Chandra Mitra.

Mohun Bagan Sporting Club was established on August 15, 1889, following a conference of three important aristocratic Bengali families from North Kolkata: the Mitra, Basu, and Sen families, presided over by Bhupendra Nath Basu. The newly established club’s first president was Bhupendra Nath Basu, and its first secretary was Jyotindra Nath Basu.

The club held matches on the sparse ground inside the palace during its early years, including their inaugural match, which they lost 1-0 to a team of students from Eden Hindu Hostel. Girin Basu, Pramatha Nath Chattopadhyay, Sachin Bandhyopadhyay, Ram Goswami, Sarat Mitra, Hem Nath Sen, Nalin Basu, Upen Ghosh, Manindra Nath Basu, Manomoham Pandey, Probhas Mitra, and the club’s captain Manilal Sen were among the first players to play for the team. The management of the club placed a strong emphasis on giving memberships to young people and upheld a strict code of conduct with the stated goal of producing exceptional athletes and instilling them with flawless moral and social values.

The Presidency College students and club members invited their lecturer, F. J. Rowe, to the first-anniversary gathering. Rowe called attention to the club’s improper name and advised changing “Sporting” to “Athletic” because the group didn’t participate in sports like angling or rifle shooting. As a result, the club’s members decided to change its name to Mohun Bagan Athletic Club.

Sir Thomas Holland, who later joined the Executive Council of the Governor-General of India, presided over the second anniversary gathering. The club pitch was moved onto the Maharaja Durga Charan Laha of Shyampukur’s domain, today known as Laha Colony, in 1891 with his assistance. Later, with the assistance of Henry Lee, the chairman of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the club field was moved to Shyam Square in Bagbazar. The club’s first competition was the 1893 Coochbehar Cup, where they had to compete against teams from the British Indian Army as well as clubs like Aryan, National, Town Club, Kumurtuli, Fort William’s Arsenal, and the renowned Sovabazar, which was founded by Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, the Father of Indian Football. Mohun Bagan joined Presidency College as a partner in 1900, sharing their playing space at Maidan for the next 15 years.

Also Read Stay tuned for the latest on Team India’s 2023 Asian Cup squad announcement: Iyer and KL Rahul make a triumphant return, while Tilak Varma receives his debut ODI call-up!

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