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AFC Cup 2023-24: Mohun Bagan Super Giant falls to Maziya S&RC in final group stage encounter 

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In a one-sided encounter at the Maldives National Football Stadium, Mohun Bagan Super Giant succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Maldivian club Maziya S&RC in its final AFC Cup 2023-24 group stage match. 

With only one team progressing to the knockouts, the Kolkata club fielded a youthful squad, knowing the outcome would not affect its previously determined group standing.

Led by captain Deepak Tangri, the Mariners opted for a predominantly under-23 lineup drawn from their academy. Despite their spirited effort, the youngsters were outplayed by the experienced and determined Maldives Super Cup champions.

Maziya immediately established its dominance, relentlessly pressuring the Bagan backline. Its persistence paid off in the 39th minute when Hassan Raif Ahmed unleashed a beautiful left-footed curler from outside the box, leaving the young Mariners goalkeeper Arsh Anwer Shaikh no chance and giving the hosts a deserved lead.

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After the break, Mohun Bagan displayed a glimmer of hope, creating promising opportunities to equalise. However, its momentum faded, and Maziya seized control of the midfield, effectively pinning the visitors back in its own half.

Despite facing relentless pressure in the closing minutes, the young Bagan players displayed remarkable resilience. The 21-year-old Anwer Shaikh stood tall, making several crucial saves to deny Maziya further goals. His performance was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing night for the Mariners.

The final whistle confirmed Maziya’s historic victory, marking its first-ever win over Mohun Bagan. Both teams finished their AFC Cup 2023-24 campaign with this match, leaving the Mariners to reflect on a challenging yet valuable experience for their young players.

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