Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Islamabad
KRL will be looking to secure an easy three points against minnows Ugyen today in their AFC Presidents Cup Group ‘A’ clash at Colombo’s Sugathadasa Sports Complex.
Tariq Lutfi’s men secured a surprise draw against Bangladesh champions Sheikh Russel in their opening clash and will be looking to carry on their momentum in this game by increasing their goal tally.
The last time KRL played a Bhutanese team, they emerged as solid winners in an 8-0 triumph, with former star Kaleemullah grabbing five.
Having lost their opening tie against Sri Lankan Air Force, the Bhutan champions have little expectation going into the game and will be looking to preserve their respect by keeping the score-line as minimal as possible.
The Rawalpindi outfit opted for a strong starting eleven last time out with newcomers Naveed and Salman given a chance to perform. And with a decent draw behind them, Tariq Lutfi could opt to make some crucial changes in his line-up, meaning that veteran forward Mohammad Qasim could be given a chance alongside youngster Murtaza Hussain, who is yet to make his competitive debut for KRL.
Nonetheless, the onus is on KRL and they need to go out for an attack-minded team so that they can avoid a sticky situation if it comes down to goal difference for winning the group.
Despite not having any Internationals in their squad, Ugyen Academy did well to win the League but look out of their depth in the AFC Presidents Cup. And up against last year’s runners-up, Ugyen will have to keep a tight check on their defence and hope that the quartet of Rinchen Dorji, Kinley Penjor, Mipham Chophel and captain Man Bahadur Gurung can keep their opponents at bay.
KRL: Rizwan Asif
The utility man will be key to KRL’s scoring chances and given his starting role, he must perform and find the back of the net as early as possible to get things going.
Ugyen Academy: Man Bahadur Gurung
The skipper will be responsible for keeping the score-line decent and making sure his troops don’t fall apart and allow KRL to run riot.
KRL 3:0 Ugyen Academy