Mohun Bagan face Shandong Luneng FC in Asian Champions League Qualifiers

Asian Champions League 2016 Qualifiers
Mohun Bagan play Shandong Luneng FC of China in Second Qualification round for
Asian Champions League 2016
Asian Champions League 2016, Preliminary Round 2, East Zone
Shandong Luneng FC(China) vs Mohun Bagan(India)
Venue: Jinan Olympic Stadium, China 
Date: 02.02.2016
Time: 1230 Hrs IST

Indian champions Mohun Bagan will face Chinese heavyweights Shandong Luneng FC in their second qualifying round of Asian Champions League 2016 tomorrow at the . The i-League champions having already created history by becoming the first ever Indian club to win a qualification match of Asian Champions League(ACL) when they defeated Singapore's Tampines Rovers FC 3-1 in the first qualifying round, will have a daunting task ahead of them against a well drilled Shandong Luneng FC who will be playing at home.

Sanjay Sen's boys will have their spirits high with recent run of victories in i-League and their triumph over Tampines Rovers FC in the first round qualification tie. The Mariners however, will miss the services of their star attacker Cornell Glen who has been their top scorer(4 goals in 4 i-League matches and also scored one goal against Tampines Rovers FC) this season due to visa issues.

It will undoubtedly be a whole different ball game when they face the Chinese outfit coached by former Brazilian coach Mano Menzes. Playing against an opponent having the quality services of players like former Brazilian International Diego Tardelli, ex-Argentine International who played for Cruzeiro and Santos - Walter Montillo, former Corinthians centre back Carlos Gilberto, is always a daunting task. The matters are not helped by the climatic difference Mohun Bagan will face with freezing temperatures - expected to be around 0-2 Degree Celsius on match-day.

Mohun Bagan's hopes will rest on the promising duo of Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa and Haiti International Sony Norde. The two have been in deadly form accompanied by Cornell Glen, unlocking rival defense at ease. With Cornell Glen's absence, Jeje Lalpekhlua - who too is in goal scoring form, could be fielded by Sanjay Sen.

If Mohun Bagan can get a positive result out of this tie it will be marked as another historical event and the Mariners will go into the play-offs against Adelaide United next week. The task is huge but not impossible. It will be interesting to watch how Sanjay Sen selects his starting XI against the Chinese Super League outfit. One thing is for sure, no matter whatever be the outcome, the Mohun Bagan team will be cheered from all over India.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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