Maruful satisfied | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 20, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 20, 2009

Citycell Federation Cup'09

Maruful satisfied

A GOOD SIGHT: The Bangabandhu National Stadium did not have an inch left empty during the Federation Cup final between Mohammedan and Abahani yesterday.Photo: STAR

Mohammedan coach Maruful Haq praised his boys for showing the mental toughness in the 4-1 tiebreak win over Abahani in the Citycell Federation Cup final yesterday.
The Black and Whites lifted the Federation Cup crown for a record tenth time, extending a barren spell for their archrivals to a pensive nine years.
"All credit goes to the players who have been toiling hard in a disciplined way though some players were tagged indisciplined during the national team's camp," said an elated Maruf after the final.
Maruf, who also guided the Motijheel-based outfit to last season's Federation Cup win and Super Cup glory, however said that they should have won the game in regulation time, especially after the way they had dominated.
“We have created some good opportunities but the forwards failed to translate those into goals. However I'm pleased to see that our players showed the necessary mental toughness during the shootout. I asked them not to feel the pressure as the tiebreaker can go either way and they finally came out with this achievement. I am happy to see the calmness they showed during the shootout," said Maruf, who is still being criticised by a section of former Mohammedan players as well as officials for his style of coaching.
Maruf, however, was not willing to be drawn into confrontation with others, rather he wanted to focus on the upcoming Bangladesh League, the biggest competition Mohammedan have yet to conquer.
"It was a preparatory tournament and the real challenge is ahead of us as our main target is to clinch the professional league. But it is always good to have a trophy boost to prepare for a bigger challenge," said Maruf, who had earlier declared that he would love to see all three titles of the season under his belt.
"After winning the Federation Cup, we have proved that we are the best not only on paper," said Mohammedan captain Arman Aziz, who was also Mohammedan's stand-in-captain last season.
Arman said that they would rectify the mistakes that they have committed before the Bangladesh League, which gets underway on October 25.
The midfielder also believes the success in the Federation Cup will inspire them for playing better football in the Bangladesh League.
Abahani coach Amalesh Sen too said that they should have won the match in regulation time, but the failure of the forwards let them down.
Amalesh also felt luck was not with them in the tiebreaker though they had prepared well for the shootout.
Abahani manager Satyajit Das Rupu looked on the bright side in defeat. He said that the match was an entertaining one, but they went down because of failure of the strikers.
"Except for the first seven minutes, we dominated the match, but our players squandered a lot of chances, and a certain penalty was ignored in the first half," said a gloomy Rupu.
Abahani's Ghanaian defender Samad Yousuf was named man of the final while Mohammedan's defender Ariful Islam was adjudged the most valuable player of the tournament.
Nigerian striker Alamu Bukola Olaleken grabbed a cash award of Tk 25,000 for becoming the highest scorer with eight goals while newcomers Beanibazar SC bagged the fair player trophy.

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