Haitian forward Wedson Anselme scored two late goals and set up the other as league-leaders Sheikh Jamal DC increased their lead at the top of the Nitol Tata Bangladesh Premier League after eking out a 3-2 victory over Brothers Union at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The stocky forward earned a penalty kick in the 16th minute which was converted by his countryman Sony Norde before Brothers' Nigerian duo Simon Ezeodika and Kester Akon scored to give indications of an upset indicate another upset after taming Abahani 1-0 in their previous match.
But Wedson turned the table to keep Sheikh Jamal's unbeaten run intact by striking a brace in the second half, firstly from a brilliant solo effort and then from an unpardonable fumble from Brothers goalkeeper Mohammad Sujan in the dying moments.
The eighth win in 11 matches meant Sheikh Jamal went eight points clear off second-placed Abahani and consolidated their lead in the 10-team table with 27 points. Brothers remained at the sixth position with previous 13 points from 11 outings.
Shrugging off the poor performance in their fortuitous 2-1 win over Chittagong Abahani in the previous match, Sheikh Jamal put up a commanding performance and kept the opponents under pressure from the begging. The early pressure paid off when Brothers defender Yousuf Ali Khan obstructed Wedson inside the danger zone to concede a penalty, which Sony converted with aplomb.
A youthful Brothers hit back four minutes later with a spectacular strike from Ezeodika, who side-volleyed from outside the box to beat Sheikh Jamal goalkeeper Mazharul Islam Himel.
Sheikh Jamal kept on creating chances and went close twice but Sony's chip over the Sujan drifted away from the open net on 35 minutes while Sujan thwarted a powerful shot from Wedson three minutes later.
Brothers stunned the former champions after the break when Akon cleverly dinked the ball over Himel to make it 2-1 in the 51st minute after defender Yeasin made meal of a regulation clearance.
However, Brothers' lead lasted only ten minutes as Wedson raced past two defenders from the right to find the Brothers net with an angular shot (2-2) before the same striker saw his harmless grounder embrace the net after slipping out of the grip of Sujan.
“Striking a brace is not important for me, rather I am happy to have contributed in securing three points which was needed to keep Sheikh Jamal's stranglehold,” said Wedson adding that he would be trying to score in every match to help his side clinch the title.
“We should have won the match but we gave it away by conceding two bad goals due to defender and goalkeeper,” said Brothers coach Syed Nayeemuddin.