Giants reach quarters
Mohammedan SC and Muktijoddha Sangad confirmed their quarterfinal progressions in the Modhumoti Bank Independence Cup tournament thrashing their respective rivals in the group matches at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Mohammedan came from behind to rout Arambagh KS 4-1 in Group B encounter while Muktijoddha Sangsad also followed the footsteps of Mohammedan to come from one goal down to defeat Uttar Baridhara Club 6-1 in Group C outing, thanks to a treble from Nigerian Sunday Chizuba.
The outcomes of both matches also ensured the quarterfinal berths of Abahani and Sheikh Jamal DC from Group B and Group C respectively as both Arambagh and Uttar Baridhara were eliminated from the tournament after suffering two success defeats.
Mohammedan will face archrivals Abahani while Muktijoddha Sangsad play against Federation Cup champions Sheikh Jamal in group-deciding matches on Thursday.
The Black and Whites, who were playing without Portuguese coach Rui Capela Batista who is scheduled to return on March 28, were stunned on the fifth minute when defender Mintu Sheikh drove in own net attempting to clear a low cross from Arambagh's captain Rokonuzzaman Khanchan.
However, they just took two minutes to level the margin when Damien Chigozie pushed a Zahid Hossain corner home and since then they squandered three chances before Emily doubled the lead four minutes from the break.
After resumption, Mohammedan kept on dominating over the minnows and made it to 3-1with a close-range drive from Towhidul Alam Sabuz in the 57th minute. Two minutes later Emily sealed the victory with a placing shot after dodging past goalkeeper Osman Gani.
In the second match, Uttar Baridhara, who came into the match with a 0-4 defeat against Sheikh Jamal, stunned Muktijoddha Sangsad taking an eight-minute lead as Nigerian hitman Lucky Divine raced down the left to enter the box before beating goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton with an angular shot.
Muktijoddha Sangsad however responded fast to strike three goals within six minutes with Nigerian Sunday Chizoba, who was playing his first match of the season, leveling the margin in the 14th minute before his compatriot Eleta Kingsley provided Muktijoddha a lead with a nice curving shot from the left-hand box on 16 minutes.
Two minutes later, Nigerian Nkwocha Kingsley dodged past goalkeeper Osman Gani to tap in to widen the margin 3-1.
After halftime, Sunday struck two goals within two minutes to complete his hat-trick. Sunday first drove a sudden shot from 30 yard to past goalkeeper Osman Gani in the 59th minute and then fired a Ibnul Siraji cross home in 63rd minute.
Nkwocha Kingsley completed the rout with a header off an Enamul Haque cross from the right in 68th minute to give Muktijoddha Sangsad a flying start as well as to the quarterfinals.