Two teams with unimpressive domestic performances come together in the AFC Cup to regain lost form
Oo - Aung - Belchev - Ming - Zaw
Nanda - Lin Tun - Beršnjak
Kyaw - Duarte
Daudsu - Kcira - Obinna - Nik Shahrul
Farhan - Badhri - Shakir - Indraputra
Dickson - Dimitry
Both teams, Kelantan and Ayeyawady United, have been struggling in their respective leagues so far recording only one win each in their last six matches. During the opening match last week, the Burmese lost to Vietnam’s Da Nang 2-1 while Kelantan dropped points in the draw against Maldivian outfit Maziya SC in.
The home side will have the advantage of playing on their home ground, Thuwanna YTC Stadium. This match will be the key for them to go through into the knock out stages after they were kicked out of last year’s tournament by the Red Warriors. The manager, Marjan Sekulovski, who lashed out at his side for a poor display in their last outing against Da Nang would be on hand to rally his troops.
Nanda Lin Kyaw Chit and Nay Lin Tun are key players for Ayeyawady and together with their Brazillian striker, Leandro Duarte, who will create chances from nothing, the Burmese outfit look to hassle Kelantan’s defence. This team will be banking on the set pieces to break the Red Warriors.
The visiting Kelantan, on the other hand, will go into this match to rekindle their lost in form as of late. The draw against Maziya last week put Bojan Hodak’s men in the red zone and it does not seem like he is taking this tie lightly. The Croatian is lining up his best players, such as Badhri Radzi and Norfarhan Mohamad. The former, especially, had shown how important he is to the team when he stole a late goal against Maziya a few minutes after coming on as a substitute.
The Red Warriors are known for their strong midfield marshaled by Badhri and Shakir. Together with the duo of Dimitry Petratos and Dickson Nwakaeme upfront, Kelantan are all set to break the Ayeyawady defence.
It will be anybody’s match on Wednesday. The battle will be fought in the middle of the park between Badhri, the new star for the Malayan Tigers and the Myammar Under-22 midfielder, Nanda Lin Kyaw Chit.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Badhri Radzi will lead Kelantan
Ayeyawady and Kelantan had been drawn into the same group last season and during the opening match, the Red Warriors lost 3-1 in Yangon.
Ironically, during the final fixtures in the group stages last year, Ayeyawady crashed out after they lost to the Red Warriors by a goal.
In the last six fixtures, including their own leagues and cups, Ayeyawady and Kelantan only recorded one win each.
Due to the varying rules between the AFC and FAM, Kelantan had the option of bringing in imports - Dickson Nwakaeme and Dimitry Petratos - that could only play in the AFC Cup.
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