Mohammedan prevail | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 11, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 11, 2009

Citycell Federation Cup'09

Mohammedan prevail

Enter semifinals via shootouts

Mohammedan striker Zahid Hasan Emily (R) runs with the ball during their Federation Cup quarterfinal match against Shuktara Jubo Sangsad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.Photo: STAR

Holders Mohammedan survived a scare to move into the semifinals of the Citycell Federation Cup with a 5-4 shootout win over minnows Shuktara Jubo Sangsad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The first quarterfinal tie rolled straight into the penalty shootout after the 90-minute regulation time ended in a 1-1 draw. National striker Zahid Hasan Emily had put star-studded Mohammedan ahead in the 25th minute before Rezaul Karim Liton converted a spot kick to level the margin for the Narayanganj outfit five minutes from time.
Both Mohammedan and Shuktara converted their first three shots from the spot to raise tension among some 5,000 spectators before Mohammedan's Nigerian goalkeeper James Paul, playing his first match following second choice keeper MN Shakil's shaky performance in the group stage, stopped a Majume Davis shot to give the Black and Whites an advantage.
Veteran Hasan Al Mamun and Emily found the back of the net in their fourth and fifth shots respectively to take big-budget Mohammedan to the last four of the seasons curtain-raising tournament.
Coach Maruful Haq blamed the uneven pitch and the lack of concentration for Mohammedan's shaky performance, but thanked goalkeeper Paul for stopping a shot to pave way for their semifinal berth.
"It was not possible to play the natural game on such an uneven pitch that eventually lead to a lack of concentration by the players and they struggled hard throughout the match," said Maruf.
"The opponents' players (Shuktara) were boosted morally in the second half to level the margin as we could not play as expected and we must say we were lucky enough to win the match in the tiebreaker as it turned into a game any side could win after the regulation time ended in a 1-1 draw."
Maruf's counterpart Riaz Biswas, however, was happy to see the way the players fought against their mighty opponents.
"The boys played as expected to keep Mohamme dan at bay throughout the second half," Riaz said, "We were actually not defeated as the regulation time ended in a draw."
The game started 20 minutes late from scheduled time because the groundsmen were busy rolling the pitch to make the surface even following heavy downpour in the past few days.
Mohammedan, who came into the game on the back of 19 goals in three outings, dominated the first half. Shuktara though had the first shot on target in the early exchanges as Mohammedan defender Saikat blocked it at the cost of a corner.
The defending champions, however, came close to taking the lead in the eighth minute when Nigerian Alamu Bukola Olaleken set up midfielder Mamunul Islam in front of open net, but the former Abahani man side-volleyed lamely when a more composed touch was needed.
Shuktara goalkeeper Al Amin foiled two efforts from Christina Emeka and Bukola, but he finally failed to stop Emily, who cleverly tapped a Bukola cross in the 25th minute to raise his goal tally to seven in four matches.
After going down, Shuktara bit back with crisp passing and better movement and came close to equalising the margin twice, but Guinean Iddi Batambuze drove wide in both occasions.
After resumption, Shuktara stepped up the attack bringing on Shohel who substituted Iddi and Mehdi Hasan Tapu darted into the danger zone, but his shaky shot went straight to Mohammedan's keeper Paul seven minutes into the second half.
Shuktara went all out to keep Mohammedan at bay and it was hard to recognise that Mohammedan were playing after their brilliant performance in the group stage.
Mohammedan brought three changes in the second half, but it had hardly any impact on the team. However, Bukola should have doubled the Mohammedan margin when he ran down from the left to drive a shot wide with only goalkeeper Al Amin to beat in the 56th minute.
Referee Hannan Miron seemingly turned down a penalty appeal from Shuktara in the 70th minute, but he did not hesitate to award a penalty shot following a handball by Mohammedan defender and Liton, the former Brothers playmaker, converted the spot kick to level the margin and take the match into the shoot-out where the Black and White's prevailed.
James Paul, Aram Aziz (Shakil Ahmed), Wali Faisal, Saikat (Mamun Miah) Ariful Islam, Mamunul Islam, Zahid Hossain (Nasiruddin), Hasan Al Mamun, Emeka, Bukola and Emily.
SHUKTARA: Al Amin, Davis, Biplob Das, Kaiser Ahmed, Sohidul Islam, Liton, Sujan Ahmed Rizvi (Shahriar Abdullah Rintu), Jahidul Islam Dalim, Iddi (Shohel), Mehdi Hasan Tapu and Shaiful Islam Khokon.
Yellow cards: Tapu (Brothers Union), Nasiruddin (Mohammedan)
Referee: Hannan Sarkar.

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