Abahani hold Sk Jamal
IFA Shield runners-up Sheikh Jamal DC got another jolt in the Nitol Tata Bangladesh Premier League when they were held to a goalless draw by league leaders Abahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The third draw, second in a row, saw Sheikh Jamal DC move to second position of the 10-team table with 15 points from seven matches, four behind Abahani. The Federation Cup champions will have the chance to overtake Abahani as they have two matches in hand -- against Sheikh Russel DC on Feb 28 and Uttar Baridhara Club on March 10.
Having played a 2-2 draw against Team BJMC in the previous match, Sheikh Jamal put up an improved performance against four-time champions Abahani and were a little unlucky not to have secured full three points as they were denied by the woodwork twice.
Skipper Mamunul Islam hit the crossbar with a free-kick from outside the box in the 18th minute while Emeka Darlington's chip came off the crossbar in the 33th minute.
In between those strikers, Haitian striker Sony Norde came close to scoring twice but his set-piece from the edge of the danger zone in the 20th minute narrowly missed the target. Abahani played well too but managed to create one good opportunity in the 76th minute when Osei Morison sent the ball over the bar.
Expressing his dissatisfaction over refereeing, Abahani coach Ali Akbar said that they they had to play against 12 men.
“After the first-leg matches, it is good to have 19 points with five wins and four draws but I think the second and third leg will be tough for us with the players we have. If we can sign up some new foreign players in the mid-season transfer window, then it will be easy for us to stay in the title race,” said Akbar.
Sheikh Jamal coach Joseph Afusi was neither happy nor disappointed with the outcome rather he is looking forward to finishing the first-leg on top.