Dhaka giants Abahani Limited pulled off a brilliant comeback against Indian champions Chennaiyin FC to pick up a 3-2 victory in the fourth matchday of Group E of the ongoing AFC Cup 2019.
The win puts the reigning Bangladesh Premier League champions level on points with Chennaiyin at the top of Group E. Both teams have seven points from 4 games but Chennaiyin are ahead on goal difference.
In the return leg at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, the Chennaiyin threatened to do the double over Abahani when C.K. Vineeth broke the deadlock only in the sixth minute of the match.
Abahani, however, pulled their socks up and began to fight with a real hunger to win.
With some failed attempt, Abahani went into the break trailing Chennaiyin 1-0.
After the break, the Sky Blues showed their mettle.
First, Kervens Belfort scored at the far post with a sweet right footer in the 64th minute.
Five minutes later, Masih Saighani put the home side in the lead.
However, a defensive mistake by Abahani saw Isaac Vanmalsawma equalize for Chennaiyin.
But there were still some minutes to go and Abahani were not ready to let go without a fight.
They kept on bombarding the visitors’ defense and finally got their reward.
Veteran campaigner Mamunul Islam hit long range right-footed volley and Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh stood still looking at the ball as it rocketed past him and went in at the top right corner of his post.
It was complete delirium at the Bangabandhu National Stadium as the fans went crazy after witnessing such a mesmerizing match winner.
Abahani were the deserved winners in every sense as they controlled the game from start to finish.
Abahani had 15 shots in total 7 of which were on target compared to Chennaiyin’s 3 out of 6.
Abahani are now second in the table with 7 points from 4 games. Chennaiyin are top with the same points from the same number games but they have a plus 2 goal difference compared to Abahani’s plus 1.
Next, Abahani will fly to India to face Minerva Punjab on June 26.
The Sky Blues will look to bag some more points and finish as group champions to secure their place in the next stage of AFC Cup 2019.