Mohun Bagan needed a late goal from Sehnaj Singh to win the away leg against Colombo FC in Sri Lanka but it seems like the Mariners have been given a handout before the reverse tie in Kolkata.
Colombo who put up a creditable performance and dominated the match, especially with their three foreigners putting up a fine showing against their much vaunted rivals.
While Momas Yapo controlled midfield, Olayemi was imperious in the heart of defense.
The pick of the lot was however, Afees Olayemi who ran rings around the Bagan defense and also scored a fantastic goal in the match to cap off his fine display.
Hence it came as a body blow when the Indian High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka refused to issue the visas required for travel to the three foreign recruits in the team.
Head coach Mohamed Roomy said this was a huge setback to his team's chances.
While speaking to Thepapare.com he said,"t has been really hard as I have been forced to put together a new plan."
While noting that this was an unforseen disruption to his plans, he asserted that he had ready replacements for these positions.
“The three players play a vital role in defense, midfield and attack. Now I will have to replace them in a short period of time. However I have players who have played in those roles and will fit in nicely,” he added.
Colombo FC are trying a last gasp move to bring Yapo to Kolkata. Yapo who is from Ivory Coast has a chance of getting his travel documents cleared, as opposed to the two Nigerians according to owner Saif Yasoof.
Mohun Bagan defend their 2-1 lead as they take on Colombo at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on 7th February, 2017 in an AFC Cup Preliminary Qualifying Round.