Over the course of more than a decade, several battles between Mohammedan and Abahani, which used to draw thousands of spectators and highlight the greatest aspects of a strong rivalry, have been fought virtually in silence in front of nearly abandoned bleachers. But today’s Federation Cup final, which features two of the country’s teams that are known for drawing the largest crowds, has all of a sudden cranked the heat up in the country’s football community.
It has been 14 years since the last time the Black and Whites and the Sky Blues competed against one another in the Federation Cup final, and that matchup is set to take place at the Dhirendranath Datta Stadium in Cumilla at 3:15 in the afternoon.
Despite the fact that defending champions Abahani have been successful in maintaining their form and keeping their prestige intact by winning domestic titles, Mohammedan have been absent from the scene ever since they took home the Independence Cup in 2014.
The final has already attracted the interest of football enthusiasts, particularly those who recall the glory days of the Mohammedan-Abahani rivalry. Football supporters from both camps are anticipated to go to Cumilla in order to experience the atmosphere of a Mohammedan-Abahani final.
followers of Abahani have been prevented from visiting the club premises and observing training sessions as a result of building work. On the other hand, followers of Mohammedan have rushed to the club in droves over the past few days to reflect on the glory days of their team.
“The word that has reached us is that the stadium may not be able to accommodate all of the people due to the fact that the followers of Mohammedan who had been sleeping have awakened and are now interested in seeing the play in Cumilla. “Apart from the supporters, my friends who have not turned up to watch a Mohammedan-Abahani match in Dhaka since my retirement are all set to watch Mohammedan-Abahani match in Cumilla,” said Mohammedan coach Alfaz Ahmed. “I am very excited about this match.”
According to the Abahani assistant coach Pranotosh Kumar Das, “Apart from the Abahani supporters’ group, Abahani fans from Old Dhaka, Narayanganj, and Khulna are expected to head to Cumilla.”
The level of excitement that has been shown by supporters suggests that the championship match will be an exciting one to watch. Friday’s Bangladesh Premier League match, which served as a dress rehearsal for today’s championship, ended in a 1-1 stalemate between two teams who have been passionate rivals for years.
The game will be a toss-up between the two teams. Despite the fact that Abahani are superior than Mohammedan in every category, the pace of the game will be fast because it is the championship match of the competition. And occasionally even the most formidable of sides may be brought down. Even if one team is far more talented than the other, the long-standing animosity between the two will still have an effect on the game, as stated by Alfaz.
“Mohammedan have become a better side after the inclusion of players like Emmanuel [Sunday], as well as the change of coach,” stated Mario Lemos, the coach of Abahani. They are a team that breaks very rapidly and specializes in counterattacks.
The time before, we ended in a tie 1-1. Therefore, we have to maintain a high level of organization and discipline in the backline. But our goal is to dominate via possession and not give them any opportunities to attack. We have a lot of respect for Mohammedan, and we want to play football in a balanced manner.