Lalitpur, June 26
Signature Manang Marshyangdi Club faced yet another defeat in the AFC Cup here at the ANFA Complex grounds on Wednesday.
In the Group E match, MMC suffered a 3-2 loss at the hands of India’s Chennaiyin FC. Mohammad Rafi scored a brace and Eli Sabia netted one for the visiting side, while Afeez Olawale Oladipo scored both goals for MMC, who failed to win a single match as they ended the campaign with just two points.
After a goalless first half, Rafi opened the scoring for the visitors in the 53rd minute before Sabia doubled their lead in the 66th minute. Olawale levelled the scores with two goals in the space of eight minutes for the home side. MMC’s African recruit Oladipo reduced the deficit with his first goal in the 71st minute and netted another in the 79th minute.
At a time when the match was heading towards the end, Rafi found the back of the nets to seal the victory with his second goal of the match in the 88th minute. The Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League champions MMC accumulated just two points in six matches.
They played a 2-2 draw in their away match against Minerva Punjab and settled for a 1-1 stalemate at home.
Manang faced defeats in both legs against Abahani Dhaka and Chennaiyin FC. MMC had lost 2-0 against Chennaiyin FC in the away match.
MMC had faced a 1-0 defeat against Abahani in the home match, while they suffered their biggest loss of the campaign when they went down 5-0 in the away match. Manang scored just five goals in six matches and conceded 14 in the campaign.
Abahani Dhaka, who accumulated 13 points from six matches, qualified for the second round, while Chennaiyin finished second with 11 points. Minerva Punjab were third with five points.
Abahani joined group winners of eight other pools — Al-Wehdat, Al-Jazeera, Al-Ahed, Altyn Asyr, Ha Noi, Ceres, PSM and April 25 — in the second round.
A total of 36 teams — league champions in their respective countries — took part in the first round of the tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation for the 34 countries that fall into the AFC’s developing nations category in their ‘Vision Asia’ document.
Written by Sandeep Sen
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/sports/mmc-lose-to-chennaiyin-again/ under the title “MMC lose to Chennaiyin, again”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.