Bottom-placed Chittagong Abahani held their mighty namesakes to a goalless draw in their Nitol Tata Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
It was the third consecutive draw for Abahani, who also played goalless draws against leaders Sheikh Jamal DC and holders Sheikh Russel KC in the previous matches. Abahani's sixth draw in 18 matches left leaders Sheikh Jamal five points clear with the leaders having a match in hand.
Abahani had a good chance to close the gap with Sheikh Jamal following the leaders' 1-1 draw against Uttar Baridhara but they spoiled the opportunity with a poor show in which the urgency from the Sky Blues was totally absent and it seemed that they were playing for the draw.
“Abahani should change the formation of play and players, as well as their coach,” said Abahani's frustrated Iranian coach Ali Akbar. “Why should I hold the post if I cannot help them win the match?”
Having slammed Abahani's foreign recruits, Ali Akbar said that they have average foreign players whereas the opponents have good quality players.
“After the first leg of the league, the local players have improved much but the foreign players have remained stagnant and it is not possible to contest the title race with such average foreign players,” said Akbar, adding that he did not get enough players to choose from during the mid-term transfer window.
Ali Akbar informed that he was going to Malaysia in a few days to conduct an AFC seminar, scheduled from June 7 to 12. It was learnt that he might then go to Brazil to watch the World Cup matches and is unlikely to return to Bangladesh. Akbar however did not confirm his walkout from Abahani.
“From my playing experience, I have seen that a new foreign player gave his hundred per cent in his debut season but could not maintain his form from the next season. I think the club should change foreign players every season,” said captain Mohammad Sujan.
Four-time champions Abahani kept their hopes on veteran Awudu Ibrahim, Samad Yousif, Yoko Samnik for multiple seasons while the new recruits -- Osei Morison and Ekela Patrick – have not been up to the mark.
Chittagong Abahani have now 10 points from 18 matches and remain at the bottom of the 10-team table.