Big-spenders Bashundhara Kings are looking forward to ensure a final berth for the second time in their debut season as the newcomers take on country's most successful outfit Abahani in the second semifinal of the Walton Independence Cup today.
The match will get underway at 4:30pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The match between Federation Cup champions Abhani and runners-up Bashundhara Kings is arguably the biggest battle of the tournament where the two heavyweights will be looking to topple each other to ensure second successive final berth.
It is expected to be a mouth-watering affair with neither side tipped clear favourites, especially due to the way they progressed into the last-four even though Bashundhara Kings are perhaps lagging a bit due to some injury problems.
“We have some injury issues to regular players although it's not a big deal because a second-string Bashundhara Kings have the ability to win the match. We will definitely go there to beat Abahani,” Bashundhara Kings' assistant coach Mahabub Hossain Roxy told reporters after the team's final preparation.
Bashundhara Kings coach Oscar Bruzon was forced to send on injured Daniel Colindres in the second half of their quarterfinal match against Rahmatganj, and the Costa Rican repaid the faith by helping his side come from behind for a 2-2 draw before they won the game in tiebreak.
Even though Colindres is carrying slight fever, he is likely to start in the playing eleven while Brazilian forward Marcos Vinicius is likely to return to action having recovered from the injury he sustained during the Federation Cup. The big-spenders, though, will miss the services of Spanish defender Jorge Gotor Blas.
Their opponents Abahani are not worried with the return of Vinicius or Colindres as they have already beaten Bashundhara Kings 3-1 to lift the Federation Cup title just over a month ago.
“It is a new tournament, new day and new match. So we are taking it seriously because we know a defeat will send us home. But the players must put their show on the ground and have to score in the match availing opportunities,” said Abahani manager Satyjit Das Rupu, who hinted that their full strength side is ready to play the final.
“No doubt Bashundhara Kings are a strong team who want to ensure the final, but I think our boys are in mentally good enough position for winning a semifinal match,” opined Rupu.