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    We haven't travelled for tourism: Bagan coach

    New Delhi: As Mohun Bagan prepare to take on Syria’s Al Karamah in the AFC Cup, coach Karim Bencherifa has pointed that his side has not travelled to the West Asian nation for mere tourism.

    The Kolkata club are placed in Group D alongside Al Karamah, Kuwait SC and Al Wehdat. Mohun Bagan have lost the momentum recently in the last two weeks after having suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in the league season after a record breaking 10 match unbeaten run.

    This has seen the Green and Maroons drop to the third spot though they have game in hand as against their other teams involved in the title race. They have Al Karamah on their plate who are one of the toughest teams in the group and were the runners-up of the 2006 AFC Champions League.

    “It’s definitely tough as Al Karamah have been the finalists of the Champions League before. They are one of the main clubs of Syria and that’s intimidating,” said the Moroccan coach.

    Bencherifa stated that they have set their priorities and would place the domestic title ahead of the Asian glory.

    “We have our priorities. We still have five matches to play in the I-League. We would try and turn things around once again. We are the only team from Bengal fighting for the title. We need people to be patient”

    So are Mohun Bagan playing the AFC Cup for the heck’s sake or do have some interest in it?

    “Having said that, we haven’t come for tourism, we are aware that we have to portray a good image of Bengal and Indian football and would do our best,” concluded Bencherifa.

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