ATK Mohun Bagan will have their work cut out when they will face potent FC Nasaf in the AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final in Uzbekistan on Wednesday. The stacks will be against the Mariners but their defender Pritam Kotal has expressed confidence that it is possible to beat FC Nasaf.
ATK Mohun Bagan had won two out of their three matches in Group stages of AFC Cup whereas FC Nasaf had won all their three matches in Group F. Thus, the hosts will be high on confidence whereas the tourists will need to bring their best to the table to stun their opponent.
“The teams in the group league were strong. We came to the knockout stage after defeating them. But it is the fact that Nasaf is the most powerful opponent in our region. We do not play depending on a person. We play as a team …It is possible to beat Nasaf as soon as the team improves as a whole,” he told the media ahead of the contest.
“Nasaf’s midfield is very strong. The wing play is very good. These are the real powers of the Uzbek club. We have to stop that. We are preparing that way. We want to go match by match. Everyone knows that we are the best club team in India. We are one hundred percent optimistic about winning having in mind the way we have practiced.”
Kotal added that the strategy which they are going to adopt in the big match is yet to be finalized by coach Antonio Lopez Habas. The defender added the aim will be to play balanced football.
“The coach is yet to tell us how to play. There was no discussion on strategy. But we are ready to keep proof of excellence in all categories. “We will play supposing that the match may continue for 120 minutes. We have to play balanced football. All roads must be kept open as it is a knockout match. This tournament is the best platform for Indian footballers like us to establish themselves. It will be history if the team wins. We have the power to do that.”
If ATK Mohun Bagan manages to beat FC Nasaf, they will face Lee Man FC of Hong Kong in the inter-zone final on October 20.