Minerva Punjab warm up for Abahani | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 16, 2019

Minerva Punjab warm up for Abahani

Having put their disagreement with the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) behind, former I-league champions Minerva Punjab are looking forward to securing full points against Bangladesh Premier League holders Abahani in their AFC Cup away encounter on Wednesday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Minerva Punjab, who stunned everyone to emerge champions on their debut in I-league in the 2017-18 season but finished second from bottom the following season with only four wins from 19 matches, arrived in Dhaka on Sunday night. The Indian outfit will play their second AFC Cup match following a goalless draw against Indian Super Cup champions Chennaiyin FC in their opening match. 

Minerva Punjab not only struggled on the pitch, but also had issues off the field as it got into a tangle with the AIFF over the allotment of their home venue.  

Having trained at the Abahani ground in Dhanmond yesterday afternoon, Minerva Punjab coach Sachin Badadhe told reports that they have come here with good preparation and are fully focused on the AFC Cup fixture.

“We are ready to play in any situation because it is football where you can go through ups and downs. It is part of football and we came here to secure full points,” said Badadhe.

The coach also said that they had an issue with the AIFF for the last three weeks, but those problems are over and he believes those issues would not have any impact on the match.

“We have a strong midfield even though we have been working more on attacking and finishing. We studied Abahani and have a clear idea about each of Abahani's players. They [Abahani] secured full points against Manang, so they are a strong side,” Badadhe said.

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