The four-time winners of the Bangladesh Premier League, Bashundhara Kings, will play their first group stage match in Male today at 4:00 p.m. Bangladesh time against Maldivian champions Maziya S&RC, with the goal of extending their undefeated record against Maldivian opponents.
Shashandara Thus far, Kings have participated in three iterations of the continent’s second-tier club tournament, becoming victorious in each instance — twice against Maziya and once against TC Sports. After losing to Sharjah FC in the AFC Champions League pre-qualifiers, Kings are eager to improve on their record and have a strong start as they attempt to make it out of the group stages for the first time.
Oscar Bruzon, the coach of the Kings, who arrived in Dhaka five years ago, acknowledged that Mohun Bagan is the best team in the group but said he did not think his team was better than the Maldivians. Bruzon has previously coached clubs in the Maldives.
The Spanish player said, “I don’t think we are ahead of Maziya,” during yesterday’s pre-match news conference in Male.
“I believe Mohun Bagan is the team to beat because of their track record, investment, and home fans in addition to their prior experience. However, each side now has three points,” Bruzon said.
The veteran Kings coach also believed that every side has an equal opportunity to advance when the AFC Cup returns to its original format of home and away games in its last edition.
Most of the local Kings players are still playing after winning their fourth consecutive domestic league championship and playing Sharjah FC last month before of Bangladesh’s friendly against Afghanistan. The captain of the Kings, Robson Robinho, believes they will face tough competition in their first game since he has not played much.
“We previously faced off against Maziya. It’s a large squad with talented players. They are motivated to win, therefore we have a tough battle tomorrow,” the Brazilian said.
The other side in the group, Odisha FC, will play their other group encounter against Mohun Bagan at Bhubaneshwar today.